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Nonverbal Deception Abilities and Adolescents' Social Competence: Adolescents with Higher Social Skills are Better Liars

Abstract

High and low socially-skilled adolescents, ranging in age from 11 to 16 years, were led to be verbally deceptive or truthful about their enjoyment of a drink that either tasted good or bad. Short, silent videotaped samples of the adolescents while they were being deceptive or truthful were shown to a group of judges, who were asked to indicate how much each adolescent actually enjoyed the drink on the basis of their nonverbal behavior. Results indicated that, as predicted, adolescents with higher levels of social competence were generally better at deceiving than adolescents of lower social competence. However, these findings held primarily for younger adolescents. Furthermore, older adolescents were better at being deceptive than younger ones, and younger females were more proficient liars than younger males.

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Feldman, R.S., Tomasian, J.C. & Coats, E.J. Nonverbal Deception Abilities and Adolescents' Social Competence: Adolescents with Higher Social Skills are Better Liars. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 23, 237–249 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021369327584

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021369327584

Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Skill
  • Social Competence
  • Young Male
  • Young Female