Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The art of magic reigns as the premiere form of entertainment made possible through the strategic means of deception. An untrained individual (civilian) who desires personal gain at the expense of others, however, may use the same strategic gimmicks and manipulations that magicians employ. This study considered the theatrical elements used by magicians during the performance of magic but in an interpersonal civilian context. In order to examine civilian use of the premeditated theatrical elements, and to determine their presence in deceptive interpersonal communication, this study examined low versus high self-monitors and male versus female genders.
An experiment was conducted in the context of an interpersonal relationship involving issues of infidelity. Participants in the experiment were asked to hide their infidelity through means of deception while interacting with a significant other. The interaction of participants with a confederate was recorded on DVD, and exit interviews with participants were transcribed. DVD and exit interview transcriptions were coded and the results were processed in Chi-square statistical analyses to provide answers to four research questions.
Research question 1: Does high or low self-monitoring impact the premeditation of theatrical elements during deceptive interpersonal communication? Results indicated that high self-monitors were more likely to premeditate paralinguistics and to premeditate eye contact.
Research question 2: Does high or low self-monitoring status impact employment of premeditated theatrical elements during deceptive interpersonal communication? Results indicated no significant findings.
Research question 3: Does gender impact the premeditation of theatrical elements during deceptive interpersonal communication? Results indicated that males are more likely to premeditate body movement.
Research question 4: Does gender impact employment of premeditated theatrical elements during deceptive interpersonal communication? Results indicated no significant differences.
Schwarzwalter, Loren E., "Deception Analysis in Interpersonal Communication" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 870.