Guilt, lying, and attentional avoidance of concealed information

Kiho Kim1, Jiwon Kim1, Jang-Han Lee1
1Department of Psychology, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Kim, K., Kim, J., & Lee, J.-H. (2016). Guilt, lying, and attentional avoidance of concealed information. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(9), 1467-1476.

Volume 44 Issue 9 | e4644 | Published: October 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.9.1467

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We investigated whether or not liars, as compared to truth tellers, would have an attentional bias for concealed information. To identify attentional avoidant patterns in liars, we measured their eye movements with an eye tracker. The participants were 54 students who had made their own choice about which of 2 groups they would join: the guilty group (n = 27), who were presented with a theft-crime mission to perform, or the nonguilty group (n = 27), who were presented with a legal mission. During the deception detection process, the eye tracker was used to measure participants’ attentional bias according to their eye movements while they were presented with pairs of crime-relevant, crime-irrelevant, and neutral stimuli. Results showed that both the guilty and nonguilty groups speedily detected crime-relevant stimuli, but the guilty group became avoidant toward these stimuli, whereas the nonguilty group did not display an avoidant pattern.

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