Low Involvement Theory

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 27 September 2016

Low Involvement Theory


They are two founders who developed Interpersonal Deception Theory. Judee Burgoon or known as Professor Burgoon is the director of Human Communication Research for The Management of Information Centre. Besides that, she is also She is Professor of Communication and Professor of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona She was the PHD holder from West Virgina University. Professor Burgoon has authored 7 books and over 240 articles, chapters and reviews related to nonverbal and relational communication, interpersonal relationship, the impact of new communication technologies on human and human-computer interaction, and other researches.

Among the theories that she almost notably linked are Interpersonal Adaptation Theory, Expectancy Violations Theory and Interpersonal Deception Theory. During her career, she has received many awards such as, NCA’s Golden Anniversary Monographs Awards, the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award for Scholarship of Lasting Impact. In 1999, she got the National Communication Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award, its highest award for lifetime of scholarly achievement. While in 2006, she awarded the Steven Chaffee Career Productivity Award. The awards that she gained show that she was talented American Academic. The second founder is David Buller. Professor David Buller was the Professor at Northern Illinois University.

He was the philosophy professor. Besides that he also was the writer. Among his publication are Function, Selection and Design, in 1999, Adapting Minds, Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature in 2005. He has also contributed a lot in writing articles to books and journals. During his career, Buller has experience in finance, management, operations and sales. He has served as chairman of the Writing Committee for Social Studies Standards for Minnesota public schools. In his community he has served on the Hugo Planning Commission and political party precinct chair. As an active member of several professional organizations, he has been president of both the Strategic Leadership Forum and the Association for Corporate Growth. He was also a leader of the Edison Electric Institute Strategy Group and the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. He was graduated from the Centre for Business Intelligence. He was died in 2011.


Interpersonal deception theory (IDT) explain the interplay between active deceivers and detectors who communicate with multiple motives, who behave strategically, whose communication behaviours mutually influence one another to produce a sequence of moves and countermoves, and whose communication is influenced by the situation in which the deception transpires (EmGriffin, 2000). IDT attempts to explain the manner in which individuals deal with actual or perceived deception on the conscious and subconscious levels while engaged in face-to-face communication (Buller, 1996). This theory is an interpersonal theory that a set of unchanging assumptions concerning interpersonal communication in general and deception in particular. This theory is developed by Judee Burgoon and David Buller. The core ideas of IDT can be divided into two which are Interpersonal communication is interactive and strategies deception demands mental effort.

Firstly, interpersonal communication is interactive means that interaction, rather than individuality, is at the core of their theory. For instance, if the encounter between you and Pat actually took place, both of you would be active participants, constantly adjusting your behaviour in response to feedback from each other. Whatever story you tell, you shouldn’t expect Pat to remain verbally and nonverbally mute (EmGriffin, 2000). (Judee K.Burgoon, 1996) Second idea is strategies deception demands mental efforts which means that successful deceiver must consciously manipulate information to create a plausible message, present it in a sincere manner, monitor reactions, prepare follow-up responses, and get ready for damage control of a tarnished image-all at the same time. For example, If you choose to be less than honest in your surprise encounter with Pat, you may find yourself unable to attend to every aspect of deception, and some of your communication behaviour will go on “automatic pilot.” (EmGriffin, 2000).


3.1 Leakage Leakage concept is the behaviour outside of the deceptive Sender’s conscious control, mostly nonverbal in character, can signal dishonesty and it is applied in IDT. The concept was developed by Miron Zuckerman, who created a four-factor model to explain when and why leakage is apt to occur (A.Fos, 2005). First, deceiver’s intense attempt to control information can produce performances that come across as too slick. Second, lying causes physiological arousal. Third, the predominant felt emotions that accompany deceit are guilt and anxiety. Fouth, the complex cognitive factors involved in deception can tax the brain beyond its capacity (EmGriffin, 2000). Under the four-factor model the extreme concentration required by an individual engaged in deception and employing the compensating mechanisms to mask that deceit may result in their performance appearing polished or rehearsed. Lying also causes a sender to become psychologically and physiological aroused. Such arousal is difficult to mask and will eventually evidence itself. It is this very principle on which the polygraph machine is base (A.Fos, 2005).

3.2 Truth bias

According to Burgoon and Buller, people tend to regard interpersonal message as honest, complete, direct, relevant and clear although when the speaker lying to them. McCornack claims that there exists an implied social contract that all of us will be honest with each other. It means that a mutual understanding that our messages will reflect reality as we know it. Besides that, Burgoon and Buller also convinced that people who know and like each other are particularly resistant to doubting ach others’ words. For example, the warmth relationships are motivated to find truth in whatever the other says and thus overlook or rationalize away statements that others might find questionable. (EmGriffin, 2000).

3.3 Suspicion

Buller and Burgoon picture suspicion as a mid-range mind-set, located somewhere between truth and falsity. In spite of the many ways that respondents could become suspicious, Buller and Burgoon have found that it’s difficult to induce a deep-seated scepticism. Doubters tend to favour indirect methods to gain more information, but there is scant evidence that these probes help unmask deception (Judee K.Burgoon, 1996). Suspicion occurs when someone is tried to find the truth from the others. The person becomes suspicious with people who make them unconfident to believe what the others talk about. It usually happens when the person does not believe what the person says and he/she will not accept the word hundred percent truths. For instance, when you have cheated by someone, it is hard to believe that person again. You become suspicious to whatever the person says to you.

3.4 Interactivity Interpersonal deception theory views deception through the interactivity of interpersonal communication. As such, it considers deception as an interactive process between a sender and receiver. In contrast with previous studies of deception that focused on the sender and receiver individually, IDT focuses on the dyadic, relational and dialogic of deceptive communication. Next, Dyadic communication refers to communication between two people. A dyad is a group of two people between whom messages are sent and received. While relational means that refers to communication in which meaning is created by two people simultaneously filling the roles of both sender and receiver.

Dialogic activity refers to the active communicative language of the sender and receiver, each relying upon the other within the exchange. Deception uses when the communication of one participant is deliberately false. For a variety of reasons, including receivers’ own cognitive loading from ongoing information management and the development of rapport between parties as interaction unfolds, receivers will typically judge senders more favorably than passive observers. Obviously, there is a correlation between the level of favorable impression of the sender and the ultimate chances of undetected deception (Burgoon, 1996).

3.5 Strategic behaviour

When the Receiver doubts the truthfulness of the information conveyed they will give clues in the form of non-typical behaviours. This will occur even if they attempt to mask such behaviours. Strategic behaviour is the proper behaviour or reaction that people use to act like nothing is happen or trying to hide a secret or the truth. However, deceptive senders are by their nature more attuned to sensing suspicion than the receivers are to sensing deception. Thus, senders will adjust their message and its manner of presentation if they sense suspicion. This serves to make deception all the more difficult to detect. For instance, there is what is known as the “Othello error.” Individuals who are actually telling the truth behave in the same way when falsely accused or confronted with suspicion as do those guilty of actual deception. The term Othello error refers to the situation where a truth teller’s adaptation to a false accusation strikes the respondent as devious (Hearn, 2006).

3.6 Deception in Communication

Buller and Burgoon are more concerned with an individual’s motivation than with their actual actions in determining deception. In their work they found that every deceptive act has, at its core, at least one of three motivations. The first is to accomplish some task or attain some goal. Second, the communication may be directed at maintaining or creating a relationship with the other party. Finally, deception is often used to save face of one or both of the parties to the communication. Most people are uncomfortable when engaging in deception. One way in which they deal with this feeling is to attempt to disassociate from the behaviour. For example, when people try to lie they try to react like normal but there must be something different like reducing eye contact or through their body movement. (Judee K.Burgoon, 1996)

The other ways that senders deal with the deception is to engage in their masking behaviour. Masking is an attempt to protect the sender’s self-image and their relationship with the Receiver. When engaging in intentional deception senders will attempt to restrain any bodily cues which may signal deception. They may also engage in compensating behaviour, such as exhibiting extreme sincerity. The difficulty is that the detection of all of these behaviours can only be done if they are measured against the sender’s base-line behaviours (Judee K.Burgoon, 1996).

3.7 Falsification, Concealment and Equivocation One strategy is falsification where the deceiving party also referred as sender. While the person who is flat-out lies of the communication called as receiver. It means that the sender creates a fiction to deceit. For example the sender will creates a story that not really happen just only to lie or hide the truth. The second type of deception is concealment. In concealment the sender omits certain material facts which results in deceptive communication. Finally, equivocation is included in the roster of deceptive behaviour. When employing equivocation the Sender skirts issues by, for instance, by changing the subject or offering indirect responses (Hearn, 2006). Nonverbal cues

A nonverbal cue is important element in IDT. People can detect deception through non verbal cues. Although people can manipulate their words, however it is difficult to hide their truth nonverbal cues. Nonverbal cues are including facial expression, eye contact, gestures and touch. When someone try to hide secret or lie, they are difficult to hide their facial expression and especially their eye contact with others. They try to reduce the eye contact with others and the way they talk, they move or react is little bit different from their usual reaction.

4.0 Development of IDT Interpersonal Deception Theory (IDT) is generating from the concept of nonverbal cues to detect deception during conversation. The idea of this study was come from Sigmund Freud who studied about nonverbal cues in detecting deception among people. In his study, Freud observed a patient being asked about his darkest feelings. If his mouth was shut and his fingers were trembling, he was considered to be lying. From the situation, he tried to study more about nonverbal cues. Then, in 1989, DePaulo and Kirkendol developed the Motivation Impairment Effect (MIE).

This occurs when a person’s motivation to succeed at lying negatively affects on the person’s performance, making the lie less convincing. (Kirekendol, 2011). MIE states the harder people try to deceive others, the more likely they are to get caught. Burgoon and Floyd, however, revisited this research and formed the idea that deceivers are more active in their attempt to deceive than most would anticipate or expect. For instance, DePaulo has estimated the human ability to detect deception at 53%, which she states is “not much better than flipping a coin.” She has also stated that “human accuracy is really just better than chance.” (Hearn, 2006). In 1996, IDT was developed by two communication professors, David B. Buller and Judee K. Burgoon.

They restudied the studies made by Sigmund Freud, nonverbal cues, and then they observed DePaulo and Kirkendol” studies which they developed about Motivation Impairment Effect. Judee Burgoon and David Buller then combined both studies and they studied in depth about deception in conversation among people. Prior to their study, deception had not been fully considered as a communication activity, it is more like theory of communication strategies use to lie or hide the truth information from others. Previous work had focused upon the formulation of principles of deception. The principles of Interpersonal Deception Study were derived by evaluating the lie detection ability of individuals observing unidirectional communication (Hearn, 2006).

The early studies of Interpersonal Deception Theory found initially that, although humans are far from perfect in their efforts to diagnose lies, they are substantially better at the task than would result merely by chance. However, this statement should be contrasted with subsequent statements made by the same researchers. Buller and Burgoon discount the value of highly controlled studies. Therefore, IDT is based on two-way communication and intended to describe deception as an interactive communicative process (Hearn, 2006). Based over years of the author’s and other scholars’ research, IDT expound on the dynamics properties of interpersonal communication, nonverbal behaviour, message processing, credibility and deception as it is achieved through interpersonal interaction.

5.0 Application of IDT IDT demonstrate that people are poor at detecting deception. Thus, it is crucial that one not rely upon a perceived ability to detect deception in the negotiation context. There are habitual liars who compulsively engage in deception. However, most people do not lie without reason. It is natural to think that deception would be beneficial to any negotiating party. Many statements will be made in the course of a negotiation. Not all statements will completely true or completely false. The language used to achieve a specific task can be varied as the people who feel a need to deceive. Yet Buller and Burgoon list some characteristic that reflect strategic intent. 5.1 Uncertainty and vagueness

If we do not want our friend to know about our absent for class yesterday, we must keep the answer short and noncommittal. If we say, “I’m sick” the brevity precludes detail to challenge (Burgoon, 2000). Another way is to speak in the passive voice and use indefinite pronouns.

5.2 Nonimmediacy, reticence, and withdrawal We wish not to be there when our friend ask why we did not come to class yesterday. That desire to be out of the situation is often encoded in nonverbal actions. We might sit further apart that others, or lean back rather than forward as our answer. Words also can show nonimmediacy when the speaker changes verbs from present to past tense (Burgoon, 2000).

5.3 Disassociation This is the way of distancing yourself from what you have done. Levelers are inclusive terms that do this by removing individual choice (Burgoon, 2000). For example, we will tell our friends that everyone has done it and not attending class is normal. All of these linguistic constructions sever the personal connection between the actor and the act of deception.

5.4 Image- and relationship-protecting behavior Since discovery could hurt their reputations and threaten their relationship, they consciously strive to suppress the bodily cues that might signal deception. To mask the cues that leak out despite their best efforts, they try to appear extra sincere. Deceivers tend to nod in agreement when the respondent speaks, avoid interrupting, and smile frequently (Burgoon, 2000).

5.5 Flood the circuits Interpersonal Deception Theory demonstrates that when a Sender’s cognitive abilities are “overloaded” they will begin to leak. It stands to reason that the greater the load, the greater the leak and the easier its detection. Another major premise of Interpersonal Deception Theory is that individuals are poor lie detectors in one-on-one communication situations. Thus, it would appear to be to a negotiator’s advantage to increase the load on their opposite (Burgoon, 2000). 5.6 Falsification, Concealment and Equivocation

One strategy is falsification where the deceiving party also referred as sender. While the person who is flat-out lies of the communication called as receiver. It means that the sender creates a fiction to deceit. For example the sender will creates a story that not really happen just only to lie or hide the truth. The second type of deception is concealment. In concealment the sender omits certain material facts which results in deceptive communication. Finally, equivocation is included in the roster of deceptive behaviour. When employing equivocation the Sender skirts issues by, for instance, by changing the subject or offering indirect responses (Hearn, 2006).


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 27 September 2016

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