Title

Effects of Lying on Memory for Positive and Negative Events

Presenter Information

Danielle Polage

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

memory, lying, deception

Abstract

This study examined the effects of lying on the liar’s memory for the truth. Participants first filled out a Life Events Inventory that asked them to rate the likelihood that various events had happened to them before age 10. Participants were then interviewed by the experimenter and prompted to either lie or tell the truth about several positive and negative valence events. Participants were told to claim an event was true when prompted with the question “Tell me about the time you…” and to deny an event was true when prompted with the question “How do you know you never…?”. Participants lied both by claiming non-experienced events had happened to them and also by denying that true events had happened. During the interview, participants created full narratives about the events and attempted to convince the experimenter that their stories were true. Participants filled out a second Life Events Inventory after the interview and the change score between the pre- and post- lie manipulation was calculated. The results showed that participants inflated their belief in false negative events after claiming these events had happened to them as compared to controls. In addition, participants decreased their likelihood ratings for true positive events after claiming these events had not happened to them (relative to true positive events that were not lied about). These results demonstrate that lying can influence memory for the truth and that participants’ memories for positive and negative valence lies differ. The potential application of these results will be discussed.

Poster Number

42

Faculty Mentor(s)

Polage, Danielle

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 15th, 2:29 PM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Effects of Lying on Memory for Positive and Negative Events

SURC Ballroom C/D

This study examined the effects of lying on the liar’s memory for the truth. Participants first filled out a Life Events Inventory that asked them to rate the likelihood that various events had happened to them before age 10. Participants were then interviewed by the experimenter and prompted to either lie or tell the truth about several positive and negative valence events. Participants were told to claim an event was true when prompted with the question “Tell me about the time you…” and to deny an event was true when prompted with the question “How do you know you never…?”. Participants lied both by claiming non-experienced events had happened to them and also by denying that true events had happened. During the interview, participants created full narratives about the events and attempted to convince the experimenter that their stories were true. Participants filled out a second Life Events Inventory after the interview and the change score between the pre- and post- lie manipulation was calculated. The results showed that participants inflated their belief in false negative events after claiming these events had happened to them as compared to controls. In addition, participants decreased their likelihood ratings for true positive events after claiming these events had not happened to them (relative to true positive events that were not lied about). These results demonstrate that lying can influence memory for the truth and that participants’ memories for positive and negative valence lies differ. The potential application of these results will be discussed.