Sender and Receiver Lie Frequencies and Motives: Testing Predictions from Truth-Default Theory

Academic Article


  • Lie frequency and motives were examined from the perspectives of senders and receivers. Participants (N = 294) were randomly assigned to either report on recent lies they told or on lies told to them by others. Based on truth-default theory, it was predicted that the frequency of reports of own lies told would be positively skewed, that most lies would be told by a relatively few prolific liars, and that people would report similar reasons for lying and being lied to. A key question is, do receivers report receiving fewer lies than senders reported telling? The results show that lies reported by senders and receivers did not differ in frequency. Senders, however, consider their own lies to be less important, less wrongful, and less hurtful compared to lies received.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR; Serota KB; Punyanunt-Carter NM
  • Start Page

  • 220
  • End Page

  • 234
  • Volume

  • 87
  • Issue

  • 3