Psychological Studies

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 58–66 | Cite as

The Illusion-of-Transparency and Episodic Memory: Are People Egocentric or Do People Think that Lies are Easy to Detect?

  • Roshan Rai
  • Peter Mitchell
  • Joanne Faelling
Research in Progress


The illusion-of-transparency seems like an egocentric bias, in which people believe that their inner feelings, thoughts and perspectives are more apparent to others than they actually are. In Experiment 1, participants read out true and false episodic memories to an audience. Participants over-estimated the number of people who would think that they were the liar, and they overestimated how many would correctly identify the liar. Experiment 2 found that with lessened task demands, and by using a scale of doubt, participants distinguished lies from truthful statements (albeit with a degree of error). Over the two experiments, results indicated that people have some ability to distinguish lies from truth (in illusion-of-transparency tasks), although people often overestimate this ability, and participants sometimes think their own lies are easier to detect than is really the case.


Illusion of transparency Adult egocentrism Theory of mind Social perception 


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of PsychologyDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK
  2. 2.University of Nottingham Malaysia CampusSemenyihMalaysia

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