Conversing with a devil's advocate: Interpersonal coordination in deception and disagreement

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article


  • Nicholas D Duran
    Nicholas D DuranSchool of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University, Glendale, Arizona, United States of America.
  • Riccardo Fusaroli

This study investigates the presence of dynamical patterns of interpersonal coordination in extended deceptive conversations across multimodal channels of behavior. Using a novel "devil's advocate" paradigm, we experimentally elicited deception and truth across topics in which conversational partners either agreed or disagreed, and where one partner was surreptitiously asked to argue an opinion opposite of what he or she really believed. We focus on interpersonal coordination as an emergent behavioral signal that captures interdependencies between conversational partners, both as the coupling of head movements over the span of milliseconds, measured via a windowed lagged cross correlation (WLCC) technique, and more global temporal dependencies across speech rate, using cross recurrence quantification analysis (CRQA). Moreover, we considered how interpersonal coordination might be shaped by strategic, adaptive conversational goals associated with deception. We found that deceptive conversations displayed more structured speech rate and higher head movement coordination, the latter with a peak in deceptive disagreement conversations. Together the results allow us to posit an adaptive account, whereby interpersonal coordination is not beholden to any single functional explanation, but can strategically adapt to diverse conversational demands.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e0178140
StatePublished - 2017


  • Journal Article

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