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This provided ample opportunity for the allocator to tell the truth about the money, lie, or try to avoid the subject altogether."We wanted to create a situation where people could choose to lie or not lie, and it would happen naturally," Van Swol says."We may be able to improve the situation if we can equip people to detect and deter the unethical behavior of others." "Evidence for the Pinocchio Effect" fills a key gap in the field of deception research, says Van Swol, the study's lead author.Previous studies have examined the linguistic differences between lies and truthful statements.After a graduate student transcribed all the allocator/receiver conversations, the researchers carefully analyzed the linguistic content, comparing the truth tellers against the liars and deceivers in order to suss out cues for deception.They looked for both strategic and nonstrategic language cues.
In many instances, allocators choose to share half, Malhotra says.The receiver had no way of verifying how much money the allocator had been given, information which the allocator was not required to divulge.Hence, an allocator could conceivably give the receiver and keep , and the receiver would be none the wiser, perhaps assuming only was in play."People detect lies better over the computer than they do face-to-face," Van Swol says.That said, the researchers are quick to emphasize that linguistic cues are most definitely not a foolproof method of detecting lies, even among those who are trained to look out for them. "As with any such work, it would be a mistake to take the findings as gospel and apply them too strictly. This is interesting research to observe when people are lying to you in all forms of communication. If you probe more deeply when you suspect they're lying, Pinocchio's nose gets longer if they are, since it's usually hard to keep lying.