Not pollyannas: Higher generalized trust predicts lie detection ability
Trusting others may not make you a fool or a Pollyanna, instead it can be a sign that you are smart. This study analyzed participants responses when they viewed interview tapes of people applying for a job, where half the individuals recorded were being honest and the other half incorporated lies. The results revealed that perhaps surprisingly, people high in trust were more accurate at detecting the liars, the more people showed trust in others, the more able they were to distinguish a lie from the truth. The more faith in their fellow humans they had, the more they wanted to hire the honest interviewees and to avoid the lying ones. Contrary to the stereotype, people who were low in trust were more willing to hire liars and they were also less likely to be aware that they were liars. The interpersonal accuracy of trusting people may make them particularly good at hiring, recruitment, and identifying good friends and worthy business partners.