Honest or Deceitful?: A Study of Persons' Mental Models for Judging Veracity
Humman Communication Research
This study focused on understanding the detailed and dynamic mental models that people develop for judging veracity. It was hypothesized that individual differences in such mental models, assessed by using Thagard's (1989) ECHO computer simulation program, would predict participants' attributions and confidence in making attributions. After watching videotapes of targets, 120 participants rated targets' veracity and their own confidence in making attributions. Half of these participants also provided “on-line” information that, in turn, was entered into ECHO. The two groups did not differ in their judgments of veracity, but the on-line group was significantly more confident. Results from ECHO and network analysis indicated not only that participants' mental models for detecting deception are detailed, changing, and idiosyncratic, varying in their structure and degree of coherence, but also that a number of previously unidentified cognitive structures are used for detecting deception. Results that confirm the hypotheses are also presented.
Seiter, J. S. (1997). Honest or Deceitful?: A Study of Persons' Mental Models for Judging Veracity. Human Communication Research, 24 (2), 216-259.