Wednesday, June 13, 2018

False intentions are more abstractly depicted than true intentions

Drawing what lies ahead: False intentions are more abstractly depicted than true intentions. Sofia Calderon, Erik Mac Giolla, Karl Ask, Pär Anders Granhag. Applied Cognitive Psychology,

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine how people mentally represent and depict true and false statements about claimed future actions—so‐called true and false intentions. On the basis of construal level theory, which proposes that subjectively unlikely events are more abstractly represented than likely ones, we hypothesized that false intentions should be represented at a more abstract level than true intentions. Fifty‐six hand drawings, produced by participants to describe mental images accompanying either true or false intentions, were rated on level of abstractness by a second set of participants (N = 117) blind to the veracity of the intentions. As predicted, drawings of false intentions were rated as more abstract than drawings of true intentions. This result advances the use of drawing‐based deception detection techniques to the field of true and false intentions and highlights the potential for abstractness as a novel cue to deceit.

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