Toward a Deeper Understanding of Prolific Lying: Building a Profile of Situation-Level and Individual-Level Characteristics

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Abstract

Prior work suggests those who lie prolifically tend to be younger and self-identify as male compared to those who engage in everyday lying, but little research has developed an understanding of prolific lying beyond demographics. Study 1 (N = 775) replicated the prior demographic effects and assessed prolific lying through situation-level (e.g., opportunistic cheating) and individual-level characteristics (e.g., dispositional traits, general communication patterns) for white and big lies. For these two lie types, prolific lying associated with more opportunistic cheating, the use of fewer adjectives, and being high on psychopathy compared to everyday lying. Study 2 (N = 1,022) replicated these results and observed a deception consensus effect reported in other studies: the more that people deceived, the more they believed that others deceived as well. This piece develops a deeper theoretical understanding of prolific lying for white and big lies, combining evidence of situational, dispositional, and communication characteristics.

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APA

Markowitz, D. M. (2022). Toward a Deeper Understanding of Prolific Lying: Building a Profile of Situation-Level and Individual-Level Characteristics. Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/00936502221097041

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