Using expectations and causes of behavior: Naive perceptions of differing acts of deception, a dissertation
AuthorRoiger, James Francis
AdvisorBurgoon, H. Michael
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA study of people's opinions about deception was conducted. Social scientists believe that people use different types of deception in response to differing situational variables. Individuals perceptions of the different types of deception were studied within a proposed theoretical perspective based on a deceptive adaptation of Language Expectancy Theory and Attribution Theory. The model posits that people develop expectations about deceptive acts that will affect their acceptance of those acts. Deceptive acts that meet or positively violate expectations will be viewed as more acceptable. People make attributions about the causes of behavior when developing normative expectations and will find deceptive acts attributed to situational constraints more acceptable than acts attributed to personal characteristics. A large scale survey of people's repertoires of deceptive strategies and their acceptance as a useful strategy was conducted. Three examples each of six common strategies were used in the survey. The three types of examples involving deceptive acts included two interpersonal situations, one of self-benefit and one of other-benefit, and a medical situation where the deceptive act benefitted the deceiver. The strategies included Ambiguities, Concealments, Exaggerations, Half-truths, Lies and White lies. Three hypotheses examining the theoretical model and two research questions, one examining self-benefit/other-benefit difference and one examining demographic variables, were tested. Results indicate that people do not make major distinctions about deceptive acts, viewing most as Lies, Concealments and Half-truths. Less than 50% of the 3504 examples were correctly identified, and their chosen identifier was a better predictor of their response about use and acceptability than the deceptive act itself. People do admit using deceptive acts, but see others as more deceptive than themselves. Their perceptions of acceptability are more closely linked to their perceptions of their own use of deceptive acts rather than to their perceptions of normative use. Self-benefit/other-benefit results were mixed and demographic differences were non-existent. Implications of the study are discussed and future directions are suggested.
Degree ProgramGraduate College