Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 299–318

The case of Pinocchio: teachers’ ability to detect deception

  • Marc-André Reinhard
  • Oliver Dickhäuser
  • Tamara Marksteiner
  • Siegfried L. Sporer
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11218-010-9148-5

Cite this article as:
Reinhard, MA., Dickhäuser, O., Marksteiner, T. et al. Soc Psychol Educ (2011) 14: 299. doi:10.1007/s11218-010-9148-5

Abstract

In a study with 365 teacher students, 447 teacher trainees, and 123 teachers, the ability to detect students’ deception was tested. Participants judged the credibility of videotaped students who were accused of academic dishonesty (having cheated in a test). Half of these messages were actually true (students had not cheated on the test) and half of them were deceptive (students had cheated on the test). As expected and in line with findings on the influence of expertise on the ability to detect deception from other fields, we found that the overall accuracy rate of teachers was not higher than that of teacher trainees and teacher students. Moreover, we found no effect of teaching experience (years working as a teacher) on overall detection of deception accuracy. Interestingly, teachers were found to have a stronger truth bias and therefore had a lower accuracy in detecting deceptive messages than teacher students and teacher trainees (veracity effect). While teacher characteristics accounted for very little variance, senders’ opportunity to prepare and their gender had strong effects. Detection accuracy was higher for messages where the student had no chance to prepare before being accused of cheating. Overall, independent, or experience, participants hold inaccurate beliefs about deception.

Keywords

TeachersLiesDetection of deceptionCheatingExpertise

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc-André Reinhard
    • 1
  • Oliver Dickhäuser
    • 1
  • Tamara Marksteiner
    • 1
  • Siegfried L. Sporer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, School of Social SciencesUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Sports ScienceUniversity of GiessenGiessenGermany