Mechanisms underlying response bias in deception detection

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The present research aims to explore the mechanisms underlying response bias in detection of deception. In addition to examining the predictive value of generalized communicative suspicion (GCS), age, and professional experience, the present approach also investigates the role of error weighting by testing the hypothesis that a greater concern about Misses is associated with a lie bias. In Study 1, we analyzed samples of (a) students, (b) police trainees, and (c) police officers. Results revealed an asymmetrical error weighting as the strongest predictor of response bias. Supporting our hypothesis, participants who were more concerned about False Alarms were particularly truth biased, whereas a lie bias was observed among those who were more concerned about Misses. In Study 2, we manipulated the error weighting in order to test its causal relation to response bias. Results again show the predictive value of asymmetrical error weighting for response bias in deception detection, and indicate that the effects of the manipulation are moderated by individuals' habitual error weighting.

Keywords: deception detection; error weighting; generalized communicative suspicion; lie bias; response bias

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Social Psychology,University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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