Empowered by Persuasive Deception: The Effects of Power and Deception on Dominance, Credibility, and Decision Making

Norah E. Dunbar, Matthew L. Jensen, Elena Bessarabova, Judee K. Burgoon, Daniel Rex Bernard, Kylie J. Harrison, Katherine M. Kelley, Bradley J. Adame, Jacqueline M. Eckstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines how power differences and deception jointly influence interactional dominance, credibility, and the outcomes of decision-making. Two theories, interpersonal deception theory and dyadic power theory, were merged to produce hypotheses about the effects of power and deception. A 3 (power: unequal-high, unequal-low, equal) × 3 (deception: truth-truth, truthful with deceptive partner, deceptive with truthful partner) experiment (N = 120) was conducted in which participants were asked to make a series of mock hiring decisions. Actor-partner analyses revealed that participants in the deception condition reported a significant increase in perceptions of their own power whereas their truthful partners reported a significant decrease in perceptions of their own power. Further, interactional dominance fostered credibility and goal attainment (i.e., making the best hiring decision in the truthful condition and hiring a friend in the deceptive condition) for both truth-tellers and deceivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-876
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Research
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • credibility
  • deception
  • dyadic power theory
  • interpersonal deception theory
  • persuasion
  • power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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    Dunbar, N. E., Jensen, M. L., Bessarabova, E., Burgoon, J. K., Bernard, D. R., Harrison, K. J., Kelley, K. M., Adame, B. J., & Eckstein, J. M. (2014). Empowered by Persuasive Deception: The Effects of Power and Deception on Dominance, Credibility, and Decision Making. Communication Research, 41(6), 852-876. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650212447099