Emotionally intelligent people may be bad at spotting liars

Washington, Sun, 20 May 2012 ANI

Washington, May 20 (ANI): People who rank themselves high on the scale of emotional intelligence, tend to have bad judgments when it comes to detecting deception in others, a new study has revealed.

The study showed that such people were overconfident in assessing the sincerity of others.

Although emotional intelligence, in general, is not related with being better or worse at discriminating between truths and lies, people with a higher capability to perceive and express emotion (a component of emotional intelligence) were not so good at spotting when people were telling lies.

"Taken together, these findings suggest that features of emotional intelligence, and the decision-making processes they lead to, may have the paradoxical effect of impairing people's ability to detect deceit," Study researcher Stephen Porter, of the University of British Columbia, Canada, said.

"This finding is important because emotional intelligence is a well-accepted concept and is used in a variety of domains, including the workplace."

The researchers used a standard questionnaire to assess the emotional intelligence of 116 participants.

These participants were then made to view 20 videos from around the world, of people pleading for the safe return of a missing family member.

In half the videos the person making the plea was guilty for the missing person's disappearance or murder.

The participants were then asked to judge whether the pleas were honest or deceptive.

They were also enquired as to how much confidence they had in their judgments and were also asked report the cues they had used to make those judgments and rate their emotional response to each plea.

Porter found in his study that, higher emotional intelligence was associated with overconfidence in assessing the sincerity of the pleas and sympathetic feelings of the people in the video.

The study has been recently published in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology. (ANI)

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