J. Mark Weber of the University of Toronto and colleagues asked study participants to watch taped job interviews of second-year MBA students who were all told to do their best to get the job. Half of the study subjects were totally truthful; the other half were told to say three significant lies to make them better candidates for the job.
All interviewees were guaranteed $20 for making the job interview tape but both the liars and those telling the truth hoped to receive an additional $20 if a supposed "lie detection expert" watched the tape and believed they were telling the truth.
Several days before the study participants watched the tapes, they filled out a questionnaire that measured their trust in other people, with questions such as "Most people are basically honest," and "Most people are basically good-natured and kind."
After the study subjects watched the videos, they rated the truthfulness and honesty of the interviewees.
The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, say people high in trust were more accurate at detecting the liars and the more people showed trust in others, the more able they were to detect a lie from the truth.