Familiarity and Unfamiliarity in Interpersonal Deception Theory
PSY457 Term PaperDebidatta Dwibedi
Detection of deception in familiarand unfamiliar persons : when willdeception detection be more accurate
The DebateTraditionally deception detection experiments were carried out by studyingverbal and non verbal cues of strangers.(DePaulo & DePaulo, 1989; DePaulo,1988;DePaulo, Stone, & Lassiter, 1985; Ekman, 1985; Ekman & OSullivan,1991; Kraut, 1980;Zuckerman, DePaulo, & Rosenthal, 1981; Zuckerman & Driver, 1985)However, a great deal of deception occurs between friendsand intimates (Millar & Tesser,1987). In fact deception has been demonstrated toplay an important role in maintaining close interpersonal relationships.People tend to give a different set of verbal and more noticeably facial cueswhile trying to deceive friends as compared to strangers. (Wagner & Smith,1991;Buller & Aune, 1987)Keeping Interpersonal Deception Theory in view, when do we expect greateraccuracy in deception detection?
Importance of this DebateInterrogation process✔ Inclusion/exclusion of family members/friends in the interrogation scene✔ Interrogation by friends/family Marriage Counseling✔ A number of studies have indicated that intimates exhibit more truth-biastowards each other than strangers (e.g., McComack & Levine, 1990; McCornack& Parks, 1986). That is, trusting an intimate may be an essential part ofmaintaining intimacy. If this is the case we would expect friends/intimates tobe less accurate in detecting deception than strangers because friends wouldnot be suspicious enough to search for deception cues. 
Pro FamiliarityInterpersonal deception theory (IDT) attempts to explain the manner inwhich individuals deal with actual or perceived deception on the consciousand subconscious levels.Some of its empirically verified propositions supporting familiarity are:✔ Initial and ongoing detection accuracy are positively related to (d)informational and behavioral familiarity, (e) receiver decoding skills, and (f)deviations of sender communication from expected patterns.
Pro FamiliarityAs receivers informational, behavioral, and relational familiarity increase,deceivers not only (a) experience more detection apprehension and (b)exhibit more strategic information, behavior, and image management but also(c) more nonstrategic leakage behavior.These point towards a better accuracy in deception detection in case offamiliar dyads.
Pro FamiliarityFriends obviously have more exposure to each other than strangers.Perhaps during these exposures the person has learned the idiosyncraticpattern of responses the friend emits during deception(Zuckerman, Koestner, & Alton, 1984; Zuckerman, Koestner, & Colella, 1985).One is familiar with the verbal and non verbal cues that the deceiver useswhile lying or bluffing and can detect the lie.
Pro FamiliarityUnder certain conditions familiarity becomes a ma jor factor in detection oflies :✔ Increased suspicion in case of intimate relationships has resulted insuccessful detection of deceptions However, the relationship between suspicion and deception detection accuracyis not entirely clear. Some research has found that increased suspicion eitherfailed to increase detection accuracy (McCornack & Parks, 1986; Toffs & De-Paulo, 1985) or actually decreased detection accuracy (Zuckerrnan,Spiegel,DePaulo, & Rosenthal, 1982).✔ The guilt of deceiving a close/familiar person makes it all the more difficultfor deceiver to deceive. He succumbs to the guilt and exhibits non strategicleakage behaviour and the truth leaks out. 
Pro UnfamiliarityThe deceptions of familiar persons may be more difficult to detect becausethey are associated with a greater amount of information than those ofstrangers. A familiar person the detector knows a great deal about the targetsnormal behavioral pattern and with strangers the detector knows little aboutthe targets normal behavioral pattern.The great amount of information available when attempting to detect afamiliar persons deception may cause the detector to selectively orheuristically process the information instead of carefully searching for realdeceptive cues (Bauchner, Brandt, & Miller, 1977; Brandt et al., 1980).There is a large amount of evidence that persons often resort to simpledecision rules or heuristics when confronted by a variety of complex stimuli(Tversky & Kahneman, 1974, 1983). This follows from the cognitive miser theory ofsocial cognition.
Pro UnfamiliarityIn fact Murray Miller and Karen Muller ,carried out experiments to prove thatinformation restriction can lead toincreased accuracy in deceptiondetection in case of familiar dyads ascompared to unrestricted availability ofinformation.However, decisions about unfamiliarpersons made with fewer cues tend tobe less accurate than decisions madewith more cues.Also note that when both fullinformation is present strangers detectlies more accurately. 
Pro UnfamiliarityOne theory that supports familiarity in deception detection is that one canlearns the patterns of deception of a person and can detect their lies better.But as familiarity increases the deceiver also learns new ways to avoiddetection of deception by strategic behaviour displays.Interpersonal Deception Theory states that initial and ongoing receiverjudgments of sender credibility are positively related to (a) receiver truthbiases, (b) context interactivity, and (c) sender encoding skills; they areinversely related to (d) deviations of sender communication from expectedpatterns.
Pro UnfamiliarityStiff and his colleagues (Miller & Stiff, 1993; Stiff, Kim, & Ramesh, 1992) haveconceptualized the truth bias associated With familiar persons as a cognitiveheuristic. Stiff proposed that as a relationship develops the decision rule that"my partner has been truthful in the past, therefore he or she is being truthfulnow" becomes available in memory because of constant use.Mc-Cornack and Parks (1986) proposed that the truth bias helps maintain therelationship by avoiding the costs associated with accusing a familiar per-son of deception.This gives unfamiliar persons an edge in deception detection as they would befree from truth biases and free to study/notice whatever cues they can.
Experimental IssuesIn typical deception studies, including those with professional lie catchers,observers detect truths and lies told by college students who are asked to lieand tell the truth for the sake of the experiment in university laboratories.Perhaps in these laboratory studies the stakes (negative consequences ofbeing caught and positive consequences of getting away with the lie) are nothigh enough for the liar to exhibit clear deceptive cues to deception (Miller &Stiff, 1993), which makes the lie detection task virtually impossible for theobserver. Although DePaulo, Anderson and Cooper (1999) demonstrated that motivationdoes not improve performance in a lie detection task. 
ConclusionAccording to the psychologist, Paul Ekman, the average person lies 3 times per10 minutes of conversation. People tend to be more truthful and more deceptivewith those they love.Hence detecting lies becomes a very difficult task so much so that the accuracyachieved with even the most capable human lie detectors is slightly greaterthan half. Familiar or unfamiliar, deception detection is in itself a very tough task. HoweverInterpersonal Deception Theory although supports both familiar and unfamiliardetectors , provides a conclusive theory to deception detection.While not denying that IDT captures much of the complexities of the questionraised in their 18 propositions,if fails to provide an explanatory glue that binds them together. We cannot find the answer to “why” in IDT. That is becausedeception detection involves interactive contexts, strategic manipulation oflanguage , non verbal leakage, truth biases, suspicious probes andbehavioural adaptation among other theories
References . Buller, D.B. and J.K. Burgoon (1996). Interpersonal Deception Theory.Communication Theory. . Murray Millar and Karen Millar . Detection of deception in familiar and Infamiliar persons: The effects of information restriction. . McCornack, S. A., & Levine, T. R. (1990). When lovers become Leery: Therelationship between suspicion and accuracy in detecting deception.Communication Monographs. . Francesca Gino and Catherine Shea. Too Guilty to Deceive: How FeelingBurdened Can Reduce Deception in Negotiation . Detecting True Lies: Police Officers Ability to Detect Suspects LiesSamantha Mann, Aldert Vrij, Ray Bull (University of Portsmouth)