Interpersonal Deception Theory
Victoria Zeigler & Alexis Davis
Alabama A&M University
Historical Background
The Interpersonal Deception theory was created by two college professors, David Buller and Judee Burgoon in 1996. Buller and Burgoon believe that people find themselves not realizing that they are interacting with people who are not being honest. Before this study deception wasn’t fully recognized as a communication activity. Prior studies focused on the formulation of principles of deception. Those principles came from evaluating the lie detection capabilities of individuals observing unidirectional communications. Those studies found that humans are far from infallible in their efforts to diagnose lies. (Burgoon, 2015) One of the researchers DePaulo estimated there’s 53% chance humans can detect a lie, which is not much better than flipping a coin. (Burgoon, 2015)
Interpersonal Deception Theory formally known as IDT attempts to explain the manner in which individuals while engaged in face to face communication deal with, on the conscious and subconscious level, actual or perceived deception.(Burgoon, 2015) The Interpersonal deception theory proposes that the majority of individuals overestimate their ability to detect deception. (Burgoon, 2015) There are many deceptive forms, however there are three deception strategies that have been observed in interpersonal communications. There’s falsification, concealment, and equivocation. Falsification is when the person creates a fiction or a flat out lie. Which means the “sender wouldn’t tell any truths in their story. Concealment is when the “sender” leaves out certain material facts which results in deceptive communication. Concealment reminds me of concealer in makeup. The concealer hides flaws to make something look or seem to be perfect. Finally, equivocation is when the “sender” escapes issues by either changing the subject or offering indirect responses.

Theoretical Constructs
Buller and Burgoon are very important because they moved away from consideration of one- way communication and focuses on situations involving two- way communication. Buller and Burgoon say that humans are capable of communication on auto pilot just as most are capable of walking without moving each muscle involved in the task. Therefore, when attempting to deceive they must deal with various complicated components of the communication process. Buller and Burgoon refer to as cognitive overload which usually leads to leakage. (Burgoon,2015)
Leakage is the unconscious non-verbal cues signaling an internal state. (Burgoon,2015) Buller and Burgoon stated that the behavior outside of the deceptive senders’ conscious control, mainly in their non-verbal character can signal dishonestly. A good example of leakage would be if some starts to stutter when they are being dishonest. The concept of leakage was developed by Miron Zuckerman.

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There are such a large number of suggestions tried principally by the creators of the hypothesis. In one of the articles, the suggestions from the hypothesis that has been exactly tried manages the impacts of doubt on collector’s and sender’s conduct. Burgoon and Buller particularly researched “what sender practices are related with collector doubt, how doubt is shown clearly by recipients, regardless of whether senders perceive doubt when present and how suspicion impacts sender conduct. Every one of these discoveries affirm the speculations tried in the exploration. Be that as it may, the exploration did not indicate how doubt frequently interfaced with other communicator elements and trickiness type. Furthermore, it may not foresee doubt level in a particular case among sender and recipient on the grounds that such an extraordinary occasion is dependent upon such huge numbers of things. (Buller ,Burgoon 1996)
The research looked into recommends that the recommendations that have been tried have generally bolstered the hypothesis. Nonetheless, a few of its suggestions stay untested or tried restricted occasions by similar researchers. IDT’s model of interpersonal deception has 18 propositions. The propositions are assumptions of interpersonal communication and deception, each proposition can develop a testable hypothesis. Although some propositions originated in IDT, many came from earlier research. These propositions attempted to explain the cognition and behavior of sender and receiver during the process of deception, from before interaction through interaction to the outcome after interaction. (Buller, Burgoon 1996) Different components can make deception hard to identify. For example, there is what is known as the “Othello error.” Individuals who are really coming clean act similarly when dishonestly charged or stood up to with doubt as do those liable of real double dealing. The term Othello blunder alludes to the circumstance where a reality teller’s adjustment to an allegation strikes the respondent as mischievous. (Buller, Burgoon 1996)