Registered report: Measuring unconscious deception detection by skin temperature

Anna E. van 't Veer, Marielle Stel, Ilja van Beest, Marcello Gallucci

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Abstract

Findings from the deception detection literature suggest that although people are not skilled in consciously detecting a liar, they may intuit that something about the person telling a lie is off. In the current proposal, we argue that observing a liar influences the observer’s physiology even though the observer may not be consciously aware of being lied to (i.e., the observers’ direct deception judgment does not accurately differentiate between liars and truth-tellers). To test this hypothesis, participants’ finger temperature will be measured while they watch videos of persons who are either honest or dishonest about their identity. We hypothesize that skin temperature will be lower when observing a liar than when observing a truth-teller. Additionally, we test whether perceiving a liar influences finger skin temperature differently when an individual is, or is not, alerted to the possibility of deceit. We do this by varying participants’ awareness of the fact that they might be lied to. Next to measuring physiological responses to liars and truth-tellers, self-reported direct and indirect veracity judgments (i.e., trustworthiness and liking) of the target persons will be assessed. We hypothesize that indirect veracity judgments will better distinguish between liars and truth-tellers than direct veracity judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2014

Keywords

  • deception detection
  • physiological markers
  • indirect deception detection
  • interpersonal relations
  • non-conscious perception
  • skin temperature

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