Truth-default theory and the psychology of lying and deception detection

Academic Article


  • Truth-default theory offers an account of human deceptive communication where people are honest unless they have a motive to deceive and people passively believe others unless suspicion and doubt are actively triggered. The theory is argued to account for wide swings in vulnerability to deception in different types of situations in and out of the lab. Three moderators are advanced to account for differential vulnerability to political misinformation and disinformation. Own belief congruity, social congruence, and message repetition are argued to combine to affect the probability that implausible and refutable false information is accepted as true.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR
  • Volume

  • 47