Sincerity vs. honesty: Testing a spokesperson’s deceptive demeanor and veracity in crisis communication

National Communication Association 107th Annual Conference, Mass Communication division, Seattle, WA, United States.

Abstract: Mass communication research has long indicated that during a scandal an organization’s spokesperson should exude sincerity. However, no research has examined the deceptive and misleading nature of sincerity. In an experiment (n = 801), people watched a news interview featuring the spokesperson for a company in crisis. The spokesperson answered questions with sincere or insincere demeanor cues, and honest or dishonest language content. Results reveal how sincerity and honesty interact to affect audiences’ reactions.

David Clementson