The Effect of Agreeableness and Gender on Deception Detection

Naomi Robertson, The College of Wooster


A more thorough understanding of deception can be gained by defining what sets apart good from average lie detectors. Accurate detection of deception is necessary for the legal system to maintain order; many times false testimonies and other forms of deceit interfere with this goal. Personality and gender are two characteristics that were examined to determine their effect on deception detection ability. In this study, a group of undergraduate participants watched ten clips of their peers responding to a mock crime scene truthfully or deceptively, and rated them on a likert scale as lying or telling the truth. They then took the Big Five Inventory and two 2X2X2 mixed measures analysis of variance were performed. A main effect of gender was found in the first analysis of ratings. Additionally, a main effect of condition that is, accuracy on the lie versus truth clips as well as an interaction between condition and gender were found on the second analysis of accuracy. No other main effects or interactions were significant. The theoretical implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.