In the present study, we examined the pupillary response of White participants who were asked to tell the truth or lie to White or Black partners. Research on cues to deception has assumed that lying is more cognitively demanding that truth telling. In line with this assumption, previous studies have shown that lying is associated with greater pupil dilation, a behavioral cue that typically manifests itself under conditions of stress or cognitive effort. In accordance with these results, we predicted greater pupil dilation when lying than when telling the truth. Furthermore, pupil dilation was expected to be greater when responding to White than Black partners. Finally, we hypothesized that pupil dilation would be greater when lying to White than Black partners. Participants were instructed to answer a set of questions, half truthfully and half deceptively. They were led to believe that White vs. Black partners (one male and one female) would ask the questions via computer connection. Indeed, we used feminine and masculine synthetic voices. Pupil dilation was assessed with a remote eye-tracking system. Results provided support for the first two hypotheses. However, the predicted interaction between race of partners and truth status of message (lying vs. telling the truth) was nonsignificant. Our findings highlight the importance of considering race in the study of truthful and deceptive communications.

Truth and lies in your eyes: Pupil dilation of White participants in truthful and deceptive responses to White and Black partners

Trifiletti, Elena
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

In the present study, we examined the pupillary response of White participants who were asked to tell the truth or lie to White or Black partners. Research on cues to deception has assumed that lying is more cognitively demanding that truth telling. In line with this assumption, previous studies have shown that lying is associated with greater pupil dilation, a behavioral cue that typically manifests itself under conditions of stress or cognitive effort. In accordance with these results, we predicted greater pupil dilation when lying than when telling the truth. Furthermore, pupil dilation was expected to be greater when responding to White than Black partners. Finally, we hypothesized that pupil dilation would be greater when lying to White than Black partners. Participants were instructed to answer a set of questions, half truthfully and half deceptively. They were led to believe that White vs. Black partners (one male and one female) would ask the questions via computer connection. Indeed, we used feminine and masculine synthetic voices. Pupil dilation was assessed with a remote eye-tracking system. Results provided support for the first two hypotheses. However, the predicted interaction between race of partners and truth status of message (lying vs. telling the truth) was nonsignificant. Our findings highlight the importance of considering race in the study of truthful and deceptive communications.
deception, pupil delation, intergroup relations
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1030958
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