Lying to the Ones We Love: Deception Strategies in Intimate Relationships

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2014-04-15
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Jessen, Jenny
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Psychology
The Department of Psychology may prepare students with a liberal study, or for work in academia or professional education for law or health-services. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method to human behavior and mental processes, as well as have ample knowledge of psychological theory and method.
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Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Symposium provides undergraduates from all academic disciplines with an opportunity to share their research with the university community and other guests through conference-style oral presentations. The Symposium represents part of a larger effort of Iowa State University to enhance, support, and celebrate undergraduate research activity.

Though coordinated by the University Honors Program, all undergraduate students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the Symposium. Undergraduates conducting research but not yet ready to present their work are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the presentation process and students not currently involved in research are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the broad range of undergraduate research activities that are taking place at ISU.

The first Symposium was held in April 2007. The 39 students who presented research and their mentors collectively represented all of ISU's Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate College. The event has grown to regularly include more than 100 students presenting on topics that span the broad range of disciplines studied at ISU.

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Abstract

The goal of this research was to identify communication strategies while deceiving romantic partners. Previous research has shown that lies in romantic partnerships tend to be more altruistic in nature than during close but non-romantic relationships (DePaulo et al., 1997). Lying about feelings and opinions is the most common reported type of lie, followed by actions, plans, and whereabouts (DePaulo, 1996). Current findings indicate that when people are asked to describe deceptive strategies, responses are often contradictory; this is particularly noted in terms of non-verbal strategy (i.e. whether or not to maintain eye contact during deception) (Strömwall et al., 2011). However, we also know that managing one's facial expression is only a part of what is required to appear truthful to others (Frank et al., 2004). To investigate communication strategies used while lying to romantic partners we conducted 33 semi-structured interviews. Participants were asked to recall a time when they believed their romantic partner was lying and to recall a time when they lied to a romantic partner. Subsequent to each narrative response, questions relating to both verbal and nonverbal communication strategies were asked. Data will be analyzed using content analysis (Krippendorf, 2004).

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