Age-related differences in deceit detection: The role of emotion recognition
Tehan, Jennifer R.
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This study investigated whether age differences in deceit detection are related to impairments in emotion recognition. Key cues to deceit are facial expressions of emotion (Frank and Ekman, 1997). The aging literature has shown an age-related decline in decoding emotions (e.g., Malatesta, Izard, Culver, and Nicolich, 1987). In the present study, 354 participants were presented with 20 interviews and asked to decide whether each man was lying or telling the truth. Ten interviews involved a crime and ten a social opinion. Each participant was in one of three presentation conditions: 1) visual only, 2) audio only, or 3) audio-visual. For crime interviews, age-related impairments in emotion recognition hindered older adults in the visual only condition. In the opinion topic interviews, older adults exhibited a truth bias which rendered them worse at detecting deceit than young adults. Cognitive and dispositional variables did not help to explain the age differences in the ability to detect deceit.