Lying lawyers: Investigating the social cognitive label
Davis, Tristan Lane
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People lie regularly and often (Vrij, 2008). 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 (Curtis, 2016). People also hold beliefs about what liars look like. The most common cultural stereotype of lawyers is that they are liars (Michelen, 2011). The current research aimed to investigate perceptions, attributions, and attitudes of lawyers as liars and their modern-day implications. It was found that lawyers are perceived more as liars when compared to physicians. Results also showed that lawyers are not perceived to be less professional or competent. These results have implications for 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).