Source credibility

Ian Tingen, Lawrence Patihis, Adam Dunbar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Deception
EditorsTimothy R. Levine
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781452258775
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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