The effects of lying on lexical entrainment in dialogue
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Lying is a complex cognitive process that involves additional attentional and processing resources. Recent findings suggest that lying is characterized by an intent to deceive which requires the inhabitation of a predominant response (i.e., telling the truth) and the construction of a false narrative. In psycholinguistics, several studies have shown that interlocutors' lexical choices influence each other in that conversational partners tend to converge on same patterns of use (i.e., lexical entrainment). In this study, I developed an experimental paradigm with pairs of naive participants with the aim to investigate how lying affects lexical entrainment and impacts interlocutors' linguistic performances in terms of duration of dialogue and liars' individual contribution to it. Results showed that lying was associated with a higher tendency to lexically align compared to truth-telling but only when crucial elements of the discourse were concerned. The tendency appears, hence, to be mediated by a desire to be believed. Deceptive and truthful interactions did not show different processing times, which indicates that the duration of dialogues and recaps was not a reliable measure of the cognitive dynamic occurring during lying in dialogic communication.