Herbert L. Colston
Herbert L. Colston, Professor of Psychology, with undergraduate collaborator Ann Carreno, will deliver the presentation, "Hyperbole and Deception: Dost Thou Protest Too Much?" at the 2012 annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Chicago. The presentation reports the findings of a study investigating how persuasion, in response to accusations of wrong-doing, is accomplished by speakers using hyperbole and irony. Two experiments confirmed a predicted dissociationwhen accused speakers exaggerate direct denials, they look relatively guilty (compared to using no exaggeration). But when accused speakers exaggerate ironic denials, they appear relatively innocent. Both theoretical and applied discussion of the results is provided.