Truth Bias and Partisan Bias in Political Deception Detection

Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Volume 37, Number 4 (September 2018), pp. 407-430.

Every two years the International Association of Language and Social Psychology selects a Top Paper Award. This year the award was given to David Clementson for  “Truth Bias and Partisan Bias in Political Deception Detection,”

Abstract: This study tests the effects of political partisanship on voters’ perception and detection of deception. Based on social identity theory, in-group members should consider their politician’s message truthful while the opposing out-group would consider the message deceptive. Truth-default theory predicts that a salient in-group would be susceptible to deception from their in-group politician. In an experiment, partisan voters in the United States (N = 618) watched a news interview in which a politician was labeled Democratic or Republican. The politician either answered all the questions or deceptively evaded a question. Results indicated that the truth bias largely prevailed. Voters were more likely to be accurate in their detection when the politician answered and did not dodge. Truthdefault theory appears robust in a political setting, as truth bias holds (as opposed to deception bias). Accuracy in detection also depends on group affiliation. In-groups are accurate when their politician answers, and inaccurate when he dodges. Out-groups are more accurate than in-groups when a politician dodges, but still exhibit truth bias.

 

David Clementson 

Related Research


What do 5G networks, Bill Gates, Agenda 21, and QAnon have in common? Sources, engagement, and characteristics of COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Itai Himelboim, Borah, P., Ka Lai Lee, D., *Lee, J., Su, Y., Vishnevskaya, A., and Xiao, X. (Accepted). “What do 5G networks, Bill Gates, Agenda 21, and QAnon have in […]

Itai Himelboim
read more
Society frowns upon spinning and so do the alleged spin doctors: Tests of present and future crisis communicators responding to spin in the media

David E. Clementson & Beatty, M. J. (in press). “Society frowns upon spinning and so do the alleged spin doctors: Tests of present and future crisis communicators responding to spin […]

David Clementson
read more