Information manipulation theory: A replication and assessment

Scott Jacobs, Edwin J. Dawson, Dale Brashers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Information manipulation theory (IMT) applies Grice's (1975; 1989) conversational maxims to the design of deceptive messages, but ignores the role of implicatures in deception. As a result, IMT proposes a dubious editing model of deception and an implausible conception of what it is that makes a deceptive message misleading. An alternative model, based on Grice's theory of implicature, proposes that deception involves the manipulation of information so as to generate false implicatures. McCornack's (1992; McCornack et al., 1992) studies are replicated with the inclusion of explicit checks to determine the covertness of the purported deceptive messages and to check manipulation of information-type (Quantity, Quality, Relevance, and Manner violations). None of the results are consistent with IMT predictions. Instead, the results uniformly support a model of deceptive message design based on conversational implicature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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