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How could the deception concept be improved, or how could it be modified to be even...

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chasey0 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted April 28, 2012 at 3:24 AM via web

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How could the deception concept be improved, or how could it be modified to be even better? 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 29, 2012 at 6:47 PM (Answer #1)

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I  believe your question refers to the concept of deception as explained in the Interpersonal Deception Theory (1998), the major criticism that the concept has received is quite understandable. 

While Buller and Burgoon (1998) make a great attempt at breaking down the components of how deception manifests through interpersonal communication, there is little information on what are the main causative factors for deception, or where the human need to deceive find its motivational source.

It has been explained through the theory that it is our primitive instinct of self-preservation what often motivates us to conceal, embellish, exaggerate, or plain change information altogether. However, all this is explained under an interpersonal perspective. 

When you explain a mode of communication from merely the interpersonal perspective, you merely focus on a specific scenario, where two people must exchange information and "read" each other's non-verbal communication. What about interactive communication? What about cross-cultural communication? It would be interesting to analyze the IDT from a diversity of perspectives by asking ourselves the following questions:

a) How is deception different from culture to culture?

b) What role does religion play in the process of deceit? Does it play any?

c) Does deception cause the same effect in different cultures? Ethnicities?

d) Are some cultural groups prone to embellish their stories as part of their colloquial temperament? If so, will that form of communicative technique be considered "deceit"?

e) In a court of law, would a person of a different cultural group be held for perjury for telling facts the way that they interpret them, even if they do not interpret them like us?

f) What about non-verbal communication and how diverse it is from males to females within different racial groups when it comes to deceit? How much research has actually been performed in that area?

The IDT is very good, however, at breaking down the different scenarios of deceit: Buller and Burgoon were able to isolate 18 different behaviors under the categories of "pre-interaction", "interactive interaction" and "post interaction". From the comparatives of these three separate instances, one can classify specific behaviors of deception under separate circumstances. 

Although the IDT is a wonderful theory to approximate behaviors to the process of creating deception, more variables should be present to really appreciate how it varies from person to person. 

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