Toward a Pan-cultural Typology of Deception Motives

Academic Article


  • Based on truth-default theory, this research examined accounts of recalled deception to develop a list of deception motives that are general across cultures. Participants from Egypt (N = 29), Guatemala (N = 118), Pakistan (N = 51), Saudi Arabia (N = 169), and the United States (N = 81) were asked, open-ended, to describe an instance of deception or lying either from the perspective of the liar or the target. These descriptions were used to refine and cross-validate a set of deception motives that are applicable across a range of cultures. People lie for a reason, and those reasons include covering a transgression, seeking selfish advantage, avoiding others, seeking to protect others, social politeness, making positive impressions, being malicious, and being funny.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR; Ali MV; Dean M; Abdulla RA; Garcia-Ruano K
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 12
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 1