What is the deception theory and the leakage hierarchy? 

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farouk23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Deception theory as it relates to interpersonal communication analyzes how individuals respond to perceived or actual deception while in the process of direct communication. It looks at how individuals (both the sender and receiver) react to deceitful tactics both on the conscious and subconscious level.

The leakage hierarchy as it relates to the deception theory looks at the unintentional non-verbal behaviour or cues that may reveal ones internal state and possibility of intended deceit. The hierarchy is as follows: 

  1. Attempted control
  2. Arousal
  3. Affective Approach
  4. Cognitive factors 

Actions like a persons body language, manner of speech or tone of voice can reveal both their emotional state as well as the possibility to deceive.