When lovers become leery: The relationship between suspicion and accuracy in detecting deception

Academic Article


  • Although researchers of relational deception have recently become interested in the role that suspicion plays in the deception process, a more thorough examination of the relationship between suspicion and accuracy in detecting deception is warranted. Previous researchers have not found a significant relationship between suspicion and accuracy. In the current paper, we argue that the lack of findings in previous research can be attributed to methodological inadequacies, and that moderate levels of situationally-aroused suspicion should substantially enhance accuracy in detecting deception. In addition, a predisposition toward being suspicious (i.e., generalized communicative suspicion, or “GCS”) should moderate the relationship between aroused suspicion and accuracy. Three hypotheses were tested in a sample of 107 non-marital romantically-involved couples. Results suggest that both situationally-aroused suspicion and GCS significantly influenced accuracy. Under certain conditions, aroused suspicion substantially improved the accuracy with which individuals could detect the deception of relational partners. Implications of these findings for future research in deception are discussed. © 1990, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mccornack SA; Levine TR
  • Start Page

  • 219
  • End Page

  • 230
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 3