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.