Paper in PLoS One
  • Law, M., Jackson, S., Aidman, E., Geiger, M., Olderbak, S., Kleitman, S. (2018). It’s the deceiver, not the receiver: No individual differences when detecting deception in a foreign and a native language. PLoS One, 13(5): e0196384.

    Individual differences in lie detection remain poorly understood. Bond and DePaulo’s meta-analysis examined judges (receivers) who were ascertaining lies from truths and senders (deceiver) who told these lies and truths. Bond and DePaulo found that the accuracy of detecting deception depended more on the characteristics of senders rather than the judges’ ability to detect lies/truths. However, for many studies in this meta-analysis, judges could hear and understand senders. This made language comprehension a potential confound. This paper presents the results of two studies. Extending previous work, in Study 1, we removed language comprehension as a potential confound by having English-speakers (N = 126, mean age = 19.86) judge the veracity of German speakers (n = 12) in a lie detection task. The twelve lie-detection stimuli included emotional and non-emotional content, and were presented in three modalities–audio only, video only, and audio and video together. The intelligence (General, Auditory, Emotional) and personality (Dark Triads and Big 6) of participants was also assessed. In Study 2, a native German-speaking sample (N = 117, mean age = 29.10) were also tested on a similar lie detection task to provide a control condition. Despite significantly extending research design and the selection of constructs employed to capture individual differences, both studies replicated Bond and DePaulo’s findings. The results of Study1 indicated that removing language comprehension did not amplify individual differences in judge’s ability to ascertain lies from truths. Study 2 replicated these results confirming a lack of individual differences in judge’s ability to detect lies. The results of both studies suggest that Sender (deceiver) characteristics exerted a stronger influence on the outcomes of lie detection than the judge’s attributes.