Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 12 November 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00488

A repeated lie becomes a truth? The effect of intentional control and training on deception

  • 1Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China
  • 2Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Deception has been demonstrated as a task that involves executive control such as conflict monitoring and response inhibition. In the present study, we investigated whether or not the controlled processes associated with deception could be trained to be more efficient. Forty-eight participants finished a reaction time-based differentiation of deception paradigm (DDP) task using self- and other-referential information on two occasions. After the first baseline DDP task, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a control group in which participants finished the same task for a second time; an instruction group in which participants were instructed to speed up their deceptive responses in the second DDP; a training group in which participants received training in speeding up their deceptive responses, and then proceeded to the second DDP. Results showed that instruction alone significantly reduced the RTs associated with participants’ deceptive responses. However, the differences between deceptive and truthful responses were erased only in the training group. The result suggests that the performance associated with deception is malleable and could be voluntarily controlled with intention or training.

Keywords: training, intentional control, deception, instruction, differentiation of deception paradigm, automaticity

Citation: Hu X, Chen H and Fu G (2012) A repeated lie becomes a truth? The effect of intentional control and training on deception. Front. Psychology 3:488. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00488

Received: 28 July 2012; Accepted: 23 October 2012;
Published online: 12 November 2012.

Edited by:

Matthias Gamer, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Reviewed by:

Nobuhito Abe, Kyoto University, Japan
Bruno Verschuere, Ghent University, Belgium

Copyright: © 2012 Hu, Chen and Fu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Genyue Fu, Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, 688 Yingbin Road, Jinhua, China. e-mail: fugy@zjnu.cn

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