Can Ordinary People Detect Deception After All?

Leanne ten Brinke, Kathleen D. Vohs, Dana R. Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The tipping point framework of lie detection posits that people can, and do, accurately detect deception. This framework pinpoints three circumstances that aid accuracy: (i) using methods of measurement that circumvent controlled, conscious cognition; (ii) when individual differences or situational factors portend potent risks to lie detection failure, such as in high-stakes or threatening settings; and (iii) when factors diminish concern over the relationship or reputation costs of asserting that someone has lied. We thus depict a psychological system that registers lie detection consistently in nonconscious reactions (e.g., brain based, bodily, indirect social evaluations) and that allows information into consciousness to inform overt assessments of lies when the costs of failing to detect deception exceed those of signaling distrust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-588
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • accuracy
  • cooperation.
  • deception
  • lie- detection
  • trust
  • truth

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