Deceptive realities: Sender, receiver, and observer perspectives in deceptive conversations

Judee K. Burgoon, David B. Buller, Kory Floyd, Joseph Grandpre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Deceptive interpersonal interactions are an ideal venue in which to examine the issue of reality. Interpersonal deception theory offers a framework for considering why deceivers (by convention called senders), coparticipants (i.e., targeted receivers), and observers arrive at discordant views of reality. Deceivers' ulterior motives lead them to construct through communication a version of reality contrary to what they hold to be true. Due to adherence to Gricean principles of cooperative discourse, conversational demands, and the nature of the relationship between participants, interlocutors as well as nonparticipative observers may be inclined to accept the alter reality created by senders rather than apprehend the "true" state of affairs. Recent research findings are reviewed, and original data from a pilot investigation of deception strategies are presented to illustrate ways in which senders may perpetrate deception and the extent to which receivers and observers recognize such machinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-748
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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