Jaume Masip
Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology

The decline in truth bias over the statement: Is it caused by sender’s behavior, receiver’s heuristic processing, or perceptions of inconsistencies?

Street, C. N. H., & Masip, J. (in press). The source of the truth bias: Heuristic processing? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. doi:10.1111/sjop.12204

People believe others are telling the truth more often than they actually are; this is called the truth bias. Surprisingly, when a speaker is judged at multiple points across their statement the truth bias declines. Previous claims argue this is evidence of a shift from (biased) heuristic processing to (reasoned) analytical processing. In four experiments we contrast the heuristic-analytic model (HAM) with alternative accounts. In Experiment 1, the decrease in truth responding was not the result of speakers appearing more deceptive, but was instead attributable to the rater’s processing style. Yet contrary to HAMs, across three experiments we found the decline in bias was not related to the amount of processing time available (Experiments 1–3) or the communication channel (Experiment 2). In Experiment 4 we found support for a new account: that the bias reflects whether raters perceive the statement to be internally consistent.




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