|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Deception|
|Editors||Timothy R. Levine|
|Publisher||SAGE Publications Inc.|
|Publication status||Published - May 2014|
Source credibility is the extent to which the communicator of a message is believable; it is distinct from message credibility, which focuses on the actual argument or presentation. Like many topics of interest in social psychology, inquiry into source credibility has roots in World War II. Led by Carl Hovland and his contemporaries, explorations of source credibility came about because of interest in the construction and effects of propaganda. From the beginning there was an intuition that highly credible sources could be useful in delivering messages focused on persuasion rather than truth. A concern, therefore, is that persons of high credibility may be used to deliver lies or deceptive messages, and that these lies will go undetected.