Preventing cross-cultural bias in deception judgments: The role of expectancies about nonverbal behaviour

Paola Castillo, David Mallard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The expectancy violation model proposes that people infer deception when the communicator violates social norms without obvious cause. However, social norms are culture specific. Therefore, discrepant norms between a communicator and an observer in a cross-cultural interaction might increase the likelihood of inferring deception, and thus resulting in bias. The present study investigated whether informing people about cultural differences in nonverbal behavior could counteract cross-cultural bias in deception judgments. Sixty-nine Australian students were randomly assigned to receive No information, General information or Specific information about culture-specific behavioral norms prior to making credibility judgments of 10 video clips (5 norm consistent and 5 norm-inconsistent). The results suggest that cross-cultural biases in deception judgments can occur but may also be prevented by providing appropriate information. These findings require further investigation but have potentially significant implications in law enforcement, customs, immigration, and broader societal interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-978
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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