Deceptive strategy choice as decision making under risk


Verbal deception often involves more subtle forms of deception than simply telling an outright lie. These different forms of deception are associated with different potential costs and benefits and thus constitute strategic choice options. To model this choice process, we treat deceptive strategy selection as decision making under risk; we assume that the speaker knows what gains can result from being deceptive (e.g., personal gain, preventing harm to others), and what she stands to lose if her deception is detected, or what losses would have resulted had she told the truth. We compare the computational model to data from human experiments in which we study whether people making deceptive strategy choices focus on inter-personal and situational factors, rather than on classical economic variables such as magnitudes and probabilities of potential losses and gains.

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