Baruch College Professor Publishes Study on Television Viewing and the Ability to Detect Deception

December 17, 2012 | The University

February 17, 2012

Ever wanted to catch someone in a lie? In a new study, Television Viewing and the Ability to Detect Deception, Baruch College Professor Brian Householder and Dr. Norman Wong explain how particular television programs may enhance your ability to detect deception.

This study highlights the importance of mood context in deception detection and on message processing. Moreover, it has substantive implications for advertising because of the role television viewing plays on messages processing.

To put it into practice, 208 people participated in the study. Results indicated that mock interviewers who watched happy television programs were significantly less likely to detect deception compared to those in the sad television viewing type.

Deceptive situations are often filled with emotions. For example, you might be upset with a significant other and try to catch your partner in a lie regarding his/her whereabouts one evening. This study examines the role of the actual relationship—or relational closeness.

More importantly, it looks into the role your mood plays on your ability to detect deception.

The study uses television viewing to impact a person’s mood before a lie, and examines the sway the type of program viewed had on his or her ability to perceive deception in friends or strangers.

Results showed no differences in the ability to detect deception based on the relationship—or relational closeness. In some cases, married couples in the happy television condition told their long-term partner lies that went unnoticed in a mock interview situation. Yet, complete strangers in the sad television-viewing group did much better at extracting the lies.

Originally published by Enhanced Online News