How to Identify Dishonesty Using the Interpersonal Deception Concept


The capability of humans and technologies to discover deception significantly contrasts. Based on the assessments resulting from interpersonal detection theory, the revealing degree for unassisted humans reduces imperfect instruments employed to evaluate accuracy. The interpersonal deception concept is a theoretical context designed to illustrate how individuals deal with absolute and perceived dishonesty while engaging in one-on-one communication (Levine, 2018). The model focuses on the central assumption that numerous persons are inclined to overestimate their ability to identify cheating. The studies investigating whether social recognition levels can be enhanced sufficiently to attain equality with the advanced technological innovations have tackled aspects such as personality, demography, and cognitive elements that create subjective rather than correct conclusions (Levine, 2018). Furthermore, the research has presented ways to alleviate the subsequent inaccuracies through drills and additional involvements. Consequently, this paper aims to discuss how to identify dishonesty and how perfectly a human can do this using the interpersonal deception concept.

Review of Literature

Different researchers and scholars have made a significant contribution to understanding the concept of interpersonal deception. For instance, Paula Lippard’s involvement in the general knowledge and understanding of the interpersonal deception concept investigates occasions in which individuals are engaged in interpersonal dishonesty. The scholar employed seventy-five topics to document occurrences of lies over a period of three weeks. The research compiled 940 conducts of deception implied concerning the recipients’ features, category, frequency, and inspiration. Lippard recognized seven kinds, with 81 percent of all the detailed deceptive actions resulting in a ruse (Lippard, 1988). Moreover, the analysis indicates that the occurrence proportion of deception for each subject weekly was 4.2 and further highlighted dissimilarity from other previous assessments.

Conducting primary investigation allowed the research to create worthy insights which improved the current understanding of interpersonal deception theory. The past analysis only concentrated on the impact of relational variables of authority and intimacy on interpersonal dishonesty. Past studies failed to consider the connection between an incidence and lies. Therefore, Lippard improves the research by evaluating the relationship between the recipient and motivation classifications. The scholar also advanced the analysis by enlarging the group system to include receiver categorizations. Besides, the author analyzed the types of deception, the beneficiary of the ruse, and the central motivation for dishonesty. The conclusions acknowledged authority as an essential aspect of deceit (Lippard, 1988). Lippard’s employment of 940 circumstances with 273 encompassing seniors, 13 assistants, and 654 comprising peers generated outcomes that recognized the rate of association and inequity as the element that interrelated with the occurrence of lying.

Additionally, the outcomes reinforced Hample’s conclusions of the past analysis. The examination further investigated the connection between acquaintance and ruse. The discoveries disclose that level of communication is the primary element for the disparity in dishonesty, contrasting Turner’s assumption that non-friendly relations encounter more falsification of reality than direct affiliations. Lippard further improved the research of relational dishonesty by assessing the link between the life phase and dishonesty. The research conclusions show that the deceit level was subject to the forces at work in some life stages (Lippard, 1988). People intend to preserve their decisions, confidentiality, and pursuit of happiness. Lippard also investigated the trend of considering lies as a learned response. The research perceives ruse as an intellectual answer and a method for resolving issues. Consequently, the reading has utilized the pattern of deception as a learned response to improve the interpersonal model’s insight. The results reveal that most of the lies are not initiative but rather responsive, giving practical answers to difficulties.

The research is vital to the case study on the interpersonal concept of deception. The article offers an overview of the several components of lies. Numerous previous study conclusions illustrate that power, friendship, and incidences instigate dishonesty. Lippard has expounded on past research to analyze the frequency of occurrence and interaction of deceit. Therefore, the investigation outcomes are significant because they also indicate that deception is responsive rather than a learned action.

Similarly, Jaume Masip and Carmen Herrero’s peer-reviewed tutelage analyzed the mechanisms through which law enforcement agents, specifically police officers, recognize deception. Masip and Herrero investigated the accuracy of behavioral deceit signs. The analysis aimed to affirm that individuals believe that behavioral indications act as correct lie signals. The study conclusions indicated that the police officers and the community members revealed the detection criteria for dishonesty and the techniques they employed to discover lies, thus, enlightening data (Masip & Herrero, 2015). The study outcomes showed that authorities disclosed information twice due to their expertise rather than a personal view. Beliefs for both the society and the officers were linked to behavior, while disclosing information was circumstantial and depended on the proof and third-party data. The police officers delivered supplementary signs to the public while frequently referring to verbal inconsistencies and active detection approaches when responding to beliefs (Masip & Herrero, 2015). Therefore, the scholars were concerned from the analysis outcomes that the specialists should be watchful regarding the conflicts between their views about deception indicators and valuable data to recognize deception.

The two scholars made significant efforts to improve Levine’s truth deception model (TDT). The investigation procedure utilized a faction of local community members and police officers of specific sex and age. It analyzed the detection criteria for dishonesty and how to identify when a person had formerly lied when disclosing information (Masip & Herrero, 2015). Moreover, the research is distinct from the past assessments but is linked to TDT. The earlier studies measured beliefs concerning deception clues and clarifying information. On the contrary, Herrero and Matip are inclined to display that similar contributors mention non-behavioral evidence when quoting a falsehood they formerly noticed despite also trusting that communication information is the significantly enlightening sort of data (Masip & Herrero, 2015). Differing from the previous research based on deception detection outcomes, such as bias, accuracy, and response, the examination further involved officers in the analysis.

Additionally, the study evaluated several effective sources of data in the civilian versus authority framework. The investigation employed a technique that differed from past studies conducted by Burgoon and Lippard. The two scholars used 22 community members and 22 police officers who filled out questionnaires with an open prompt on identifying dishonesty (Masip & Herrero, 2015). The results showed that the contributors assumed that the interactive information included undetermined and perceptible behavioral information, which was problematic to categorize as visible, spoken, or biological (Masip & Herrero, 2015). The study also designated that non-behavioral background data is substantial in discovering deceits and recognizable conduct is a sign of a lie.

Consequently, the research is consequential to the case study because it offers theoretical associations to the truth deception theory. It shows that there is a requirement to add new fundamentals to the concept. Behavioral symbols are, therefore, efficient in recognizing deceit despite the existence of crucial background information. The study further indicates that dishonesty’s social signs are vastly reasonable dissimilar from the past beliefs of limited rationality.

Finally, the last article involved scholars who conducted a preliminary study to assess the impact of dishonesty kind, mistrust, relational consociate, type of question, and proficiency on efficiency in identifying lies and truth, using the interpersonal deception recommendations concept. The researchers employed trainees and professionals as distinct factions who interviewed associates and guests who gave honest answers and false replies (Burgoon et al., 1994). The investigations outcomes indicated that correctness was more significant on accuracy than cheating. On the contrary, beginners were more specific than experts, with precision relying on deceit being performed and considering the interviewers’ suspicions (Burgoon et al., 1994). Furthermore, the author realized that suspicion weakened the accuracy of the specialists. The degree of truth preferences amplified with accustomed others, mainly when evaluators were uncertain. The study further discovered that the interrogation method either improved or aggravated the incorrectness of the reply.

The research employed several hypotheses to progress the investigation on relational dishonesty using the interpersonal deception concept. The scholar attempted to analyze the connection between deceit accuracy and types of lying. It examined the impact of recipient suspicion, an occurrence that previous research had not explored. The authors, in their study process, reflected the influence of various factors, such as interviewing, understanding, and expertise capacities of the precision on the accuracy of identifying cheating (Burgoon et al., 1994). Furthermore, using 132 contributors, the scholars alienated the participants into specialists and non-professional interviewers. The exactness of precision relies on the type of lie subject to preference, uprightness, accuracy, and conclusions.

Besides, the investigation endeavored to conclude whether suspicion negatively impacted experts’ precision in recognizing deception in the setting of interpersonal relations. Disbelief further interrelates with the kind of deceit negatively altering the decision of disguise. The scholars also examined communication understanding and its influence on identifying lies. The investigation outcomes improved the familiarity with the interpersonal theory of dishonesty detection. Moreover, one-on-one communication affects deception equated to non-collaborative situations (Burgoon et al., 1994). The influence of interpersonal acquaintance on the decision during deception is constant with the relational dishonesty concept that familiarity involves factors, such as honesty. An appreciation of interpersonal deception can be improved from the investigation methodologies and outcomes (Burgoon et al., 1994). During the examination, the process makes a substantial contribution by improving the accuracy and awareness during the estimation of deceit and the procedure of recognizing interpersonal deception.

The study makes a significant value, and speculative contribution to the analysis of ruse and the concept of interpersonal deception. More importantly, the research produced nuanced understandings of the research topic, which intensified appreciation of relational deceit, which is a fundamental aspect of interactive reliability, acknowledgment processes, and accuracy. The scholars further presented convincing proof indicating that interpersonal cheating is subject to an acquaintance, mistrust, and a kind of dishonesty.

Research Question

Qualitative Analysis and Results.
How good are you at successfully deceiving others (i.e., getting away with lies)?3510
How vital are verbal strategies of deception with getting away with lies?738
How vital are non-verbal strategies of deception with getting away with lies?738
In the past 24 hours, you exaggerated (intentionally mislead others to believe events occurred in ways they did not) many times.5211
In the past 24 hours, you conceded information many times6210
Most of your deception in the past 24 hours was to a family495
Most of your deception in the past 24 hours was to friends.684
Most of the lies told in the past 24 hours were face-to-face.387
Most of the lies told in the past 24 hours were said on the phone.5211
Most of the lies told in the past 24 hours were said over social media.3213
When telling a lie, you are more intense than telling the truth.4311
My motivation for lying over the last 24 hours was to win the admiration of others.3312
My motivation for lying over the past 24 hours was to avoid conflict.4311
My motivation for lying over the last 24 hours was for a good course (i.e., not to hurt someone’s feelings)3213
My motivation for lying over the last 24 hours was to obtain a reward. (i.e., cheating on schoolwork, monetary benefits at work)4311
Most educated327
Frequency told by females216
Frequency told by males215



The sample consists of 18 participants, eight male and ten female. The contributors varied in education, with seven being the most schooled, comprising college graduates and students.


The participants were defined as lying and describing strategies for telling the falsehoods and carefully reading them. They were then asked to consider the meaning while responding to survey questions. Likewise, the questions reported their experience with exposing deceits in daily life. Contributors rated on a five-point Likert scale (1-strongly differ to 5-strongly approve). The contributors were further tested by asking specific questions, such as “how good are you at effectively misleading others (i.e., getting away with dishonesties)?” Similarly, the importance of verbal and non-verbal strategies of deception was also tested and rated according to the marking grid. The approach was to enable a conclusive result on the influence of verbal and non-spoken elements of communication in detecting lies amongst individuals. The partakers further rated their motivation type for dishonesty. Such was to help in understanding the reasons for deception amongst people in their daily endeavors. Their instructions were to reflect over the 24 hours before the survey was given. The 24 hour period was the timeframe we used to measure their lying activity.


Fifty-six percent of the participants disclosed that they were good at deceiving others. On the contrary, deception’s verbal and non-verbal strategies were considered equally essential to forty-four percent of the contributors. Sixty-one percent of the partakers exaggerated events numerous times in the last 24 hours, whereas fifty-six percent concealed information several times. Twenty-eight percent of them deceived a family member, with twenty-two percent deceiving friends. Likewise, thirty-nine percent of the persons told lies on a one-on-one basis, while sixty-one percent was via phone. Seventy-two percent of individuals are partakers cheated over social media. The contributors’ conduct while deceiving varied and sixty-one percent stated that they were more intense when telling a lie.

The motivation for lying varied between the partakers, with sixty-seven percent of them wanting to win others’ admiration. Similarly, sixty-one percent fibbed to avoid conflict, while seventy-two deceived for a good course, and twenty-two percent was done to gain reward. Finally, I also examined the relationship between gender and education level of the participants self-reported dishonesty capability by comparing their answers to the open-ended feedback to the survey questions. Those that reported as good liars were seventy percent male to thirty percent female. However, I did not observe a significant participants’ between contributors’ education level and their self-reported deception ability.

Interpersonal Deception Theory

The theory that I choose for my case study is the interpersonal deception theory. The concept is a combination of relational communication and deceptive principles. The model was developed by two communications professors Buller and Burgoon, who concluded that dishonesty is a social interaction act. Their opinion was that it takes a sender and a receiver to complete a lie, which has significantly changed how we perceive deception. The scholars assumed that intentional ruse requires higher cognitive exertion than telling the truth. Their opinion is that it takes the exchanges between the sender and the recipient to create lies.

Through employing the theory, I would like to examine how successful we can become at detecting a lie. Elon Musk claims he can recognize if a job applicant is lying, but other research alleges that it is difficult for a human to identify deception. In past studies, DePaulo estimated that humans could only notice a lie 53 percent of the time but did not account for relational deceit. I want to research if we can use interpersonal deception theory to successfully determine if someone is lying and, if so, how successful it is.

Before Burgoon and Buller’s interpersonal deception theory lying was likely not considered a communication activity. Researchers focused on the formation and the principles of deception. The relational dishonesty concept has numerous models that break down deceit and give various tools in recognizing if an individual is falsifying content during their interaction. I want to study this theory and assess if I could increase my ability to spot ruse. Interpersonal deception has therefore opened doors to several signs and actions conveying deception.


In conclusion, throughout the years more and more social associations are involving computer-reflected and one-on-one interactions. Romantic relationships are no exception to this as numerous individuals are getting involved in intimate affairs. However, with the growing changes in communication patterns, it is difficult to identify deception especially when interaction is done over social media. Furthermore, technological barriers of computer –deliberated communication, online users have the opportunity to portray themselves in any way they choose. Unlike other past research that focus on behavior and the speech of deceivers, this study has examined a broader scope of perception and understandings of dishonesty as it occurs through a person’s self-disclosure and daily actions. The concept of interpersonal deception presented in this investigation illustrates an extensive diversity of frameworks and perceptions from which to recognize a lie. Therefore, the theory should not be perceived as a competing model amongst the social relational ideas but rather a contemporary ideal that can offer various ways to discover deceit.


Burgoon, J. K., Buller, D. B., Ebesu, A. S., & Rockwell, P. (1994). Interpersonal deception: V. Accuracy in deception detection. Communications Monographs, 61(4), 303–325. Web.

Levine, T. R. (2018). Detection of deception. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication.

Lippard, P. V. (1988). “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies”;: Situational exigencies for interpersonal deception. Western Journal of Communication (Includes Communication Reports), 52(1), 91–103. Web.

Masip, J., & Herrero, C. (2015). Police detection of deception: Beliefs about behavioral cues to deception are strong even though contextual evidence is more useful. Journal of Communication, 65(1), 125–145. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "How to Identify Dishonesty Using the Interpersonal Deception Concept." September 11, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "How to Identify Dishonesty Using the Interpersonal Deception Concept." September 11, 2023.