Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Gordon G. Gallup


Evolutionary theory predicts that people should have sex-specific adaptations based on differential reproductive costs and benefits. Males have to contend with the costs of being cuckolded, while females have to contend with the costs of being abandoned. Previous research on reproductive deception has shown that males and females engage in sex-specific deception in ways that maximize fitness. This project examined the ability to discern ingenuous and disingenuous claims about romantic and sexual relationship status. Participants viewed and rated the veracity of pre-recorded claims about targets’ relationship status. Results showed that the ability to discern claim veracity was dependent upon the type of claim that was made, whether the claim was true or false, and the sex of the claimant and the rater. Findings provide important additions to the literature on reproductively relevant deception.

Included in

Psychology Commons