Humans can be an untrusting race.
People are often very cynical about human nature, tending to think that strangers will happily lie to us if there is something in it for them.
In a world filled with liars, lack of trust in others is often thought to be a sensible precaution. And to protect ourselves, we need to be suspicious of people we don’t know.
Certainly we have an intuitive belief that people who are more suspicious of others’ motives are likely to be better at detecting lies. Or so Nancy Carter and J. Mark Weber found when they asked a group of MBA students whether people high or low in trust would be better at detecting lies in others (Carter & Weber, 2010).
The results were as we’d expect: 85% thought low trusters are better than high trusters at lie detection.
Is this the right answer though? Are low-trusters really better at detecting lies?
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