Creative Cognition and Deceptive Communication

Compare the roles of creativity in deceptive communication, using behavioural and cognitive neuroscience methods and paradigms.



  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychology


Traditionally, Recent research has suggested a bidirectional link between creativity and dishonesty. In my project I am investigating the relationships between the ability to generate and to detect lies and people's general creative abilities and the common neural processes underlying deception and creativity


Clara Casco; University of Padua, Italy; fMRI experiments

Detailed Description

Aims + Scope

The project aims to investigate the contribution of different aspects of creative cognition as measured by several creativity tests, to deceptive communication. The goal is to see whether creative cognition is one variable that could account for the correlation between the ability of generating and detecting lies. In addition, neuroscience (ERPs and fMRI) will be carries out to look for the common neurological activities underlying creativity and deception


The initial behavioural study, aimed at investigating the contribution of different aspects of creative cognition, measured by several creativity tests, to deceptive communication. Performance in both, the generation and the detection of lies, was measured in three related deception tasks carried out in a laboratory competitive interactive setting. Performance was quantified using signal detection theory. Results showed that individuals who were better at generating lies scored higher on the creativity achievement questionnaire (CAQ), especially in the performance domain (i.e., dance, drama and music), and tended to generate more lies when given the choice to lie or to tell the truth. Additionally, no hints of a correlation between the ability to generate and detect lies were found. These findings suggest that generating and detecting lies are distinct abilities and that different aspects of creativity may contribute independently to these two abilities.

Research Fellow
Chun-Wei Hsu

Giorgio Ganis, Haline Schendan, Michaela Gummerum (Plymouth University), Clara Casco (University of Padua), Christoph Hintermüller (Guger Technologies)

Further Reading
  • Gino, F., & Ariely, D. (2012). The dark side of creativity: original thinkers can be more dishonest. J Pers Soc Psychol, 102(3), 445. DOI: 10.1037/a0026406
  • Gino, F., & Wiltermuth, S. S. (2014). Evil genius? How dishonesty can lead to greater creativity. Psychological science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614520714
  • Wright, G. R., Berry, C. J., & Bird, G. (2012). “You can't kid a kidder”: association between production and detection of deception in an interactive deception task. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 6.DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00087
  • Ganis, G. (2015). Deception Detection Using Neuroimaging. Detecting Deception: Current Challenges and Cognitive Approaches, 105 in ISBN: 978-1-118-50975-3