PSYCH  Vol.6 No.5 , April 2015
The Distrusted Truth: Examination of Challenged Perceptions and Expectations
Author(s) Eitan Elaad*
ABSTRACT
Three experiments were designed to investigate various aspects of the distrusted truth. In the first experiment, 60 undergraduate students were asked to self-assess their abilities to tell and detect lies, tell truths and trust others. The truth-telling ability was self-assessed higher than all four abilities. Participants further evaluated the importance of the four abilities. The ability to tell the truth convincingly was evaluated as very important. In the second experiment 80 undergraduate students reported that their feelings would be severely hurt if other people question their truthful messages. The third experiment put these attitudes to a test when 60 undergraduate students took part in a truth telling task in which the four judges presumed deception. After each session participants received either a confirming feedback indicating that they were convincing when they told the truth, a challenging feedback indicating that they failed to convince, or no feedback. It turned out that feedback did not affect participants’ subsequent self-assessed truth telling ability. However, predicted success in delivering convincing truths declined when the challenging feedback was introduced. Results were discussed with reference to situations where the perceived ability to tell the truth convincingly may be challenged.

Cite this paper
Elaad, E. (2015). The Distrusted Truth: Examination of Challenged Perceptions and Expectations. Psychology, 6, 560-571. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.65054.
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