Year of Graduation


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Restricted Access Thesis

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First Advisor

Louisa Slowiaczek


Deception has been shown to be a complicated cognitive process that utilizes several features of executive control. The question of whether the use of linguistic cues associated with deception varied by level of executive control was investigated. Subjects were tested for level of executive control and then were asked to provide their honest opinion to a current social issue as well as their false opinion to a separate issue in an interview scenario. The responses were videotaped and a researcher coded the subjects’ response latency to a series of questions, the subjects’ frequency of use of the word “um,” and the subjects’ use of exclusive words. Results showed that participants used “um” more frequently when telling the truth than when lying. However, no differences were observed between deception conditions in the response latency or use of exclusive words. No relationship was observed between executive control and the three linguistic markers of deception. Despite the lack of significant results, future research may reveal individual differences in linguistic styles of deception with the use of a more sensitive measure of executive control.


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