The book Detecting Lies and Deceit by Aldert Vrij mentions evidence of a truth bias, i.e. people are more likely to correctly judge that a truthful statement is true than that a lie is false. This appears to be a fairly robust result that is not just a function of truth being the correct guess where the evidence is weak – it shows up in controlled experiments where subjects have good reason not to assume truth (for example,
Except I did put my hand on a pan despite being told that..
It's much more than just politeness; we're better off believing a statement like "Don't put your hand in the oven, it will burn you" than checking whether it's true.
How to Lie and Influence People
Here is an interesting thesis, in this new book, discussed at Overcomingbias, Truth Bias The book Detecting Lies and Deceit by Aldert Vrij mentions evidence...
Robin, it's clear that we don't treat friends and enemies the same way, and I would expect people to be overly suspicious of enemies.The studies in question seem to partly deal with this by observing interactions with strangers, but they're probably strangers of the same culture. It would be interesting to see how much the results change if the studies put people of obviously different cultures together, or do the experiments with people in cultures that are more suspicious of strangers.
A lie is not just a false statement, but one made with deliberate intent to deceive. As characterized by Peter, the bias discussed here is one against the proper subclass of lies rather than then larger class of falsehoods. But one may wonder whether we have a bias against falsehoods on top of our bias against lies. Are people also more likely to correctly judge that a true statement is true than that a false statement is false? (Perhaps we are disposed to believe more than the evidence warrants, and hence end up judging more false statements true than true statements false.)
Pablo Stafforini,which evidence distinguishes the two hypotheses?
This is not a truth bias; it is a truthfulness bias. The evidence doesn't show that we are more likely to believe true statements than to disbelieve false ones. It shows that we are more likely to believe what truthful people say than to disbelieve what liars say. It would be interesting to know if, on top of a truthfulness bias disposing us to be insufficiently distrustful of lies, we also have a truth bias disposing us to be insufficiently sceptical of falsehoods.
I would be interested to know if truth bias is consistent across both males and females to the same degree.
It seems to me this is mainly caused by wanting to think well of the people we associate with. I wonder if we have the same, or the opposite, bias regarding statements by foreigners, or by our rivals.
So... what does this tell me about how often I should bluff in poker?