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Tristan Davis

People lie regularly and often (Curtis 2013). However, though this is accepted, people do not like to be lied to (Epley & Huff 2007). Because of the prevalence of the practice, people are constantly on the lookout for liars (DePaulo & Kashy 1998). Attributions are made when a person detects a lie and then makes a decision on the person who lied (Brehm, Kassin & Fein, 2002). These every day aspects of life have an effect on lawyers in today’s society because of legal professionals’ tendency to own a monopoly on legal knowledge and their job which requires them to “win” for their client at all cost (Galanter, 1998). The purpose of the current research program was to extend this area of investigation by examining society’s perceptions of and attributions on the character of lawyers as being liars. It appears that students have multiple negative perceptions and attributions toward lawyers in the context of lying. Regarding attitudes, participants held a number of negative attitudes toward people and professionals who lie. Additionally, though students have no doubts about the professionalism or competence of liars, compared to that of doctors, they have an increased fear of being deceived by lawyers, and, as the RCDSIII results reveal, people attribute lawyers’ lies more to their own control than doctors’ lies. As a result, a lawyer may be less able to represent a client to the best of their ability (Galanter 1998).

Project Title

Perceptions and Attributions of Lawyers as Liars

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Drew Curtis; Dr. Tay Hack