Absent a perceived motive for deception, people will infer that a message source is honest. As a consequence, confessions should be believed more often than denials, true confessions will be correctly judged as honest, and false confessions will be misjudged. In the first experiment, participants judged true and false confessions and denials. As predicted, confessions were judged as honest more frequently than denials. Subsequent experiments replicated these results with an independent groups design and with a sample of professional investigators. Together, these three experiments document an important exception to the 50%+ accuracy conclusion, provide evidence consistent with a projected motive explanation of deception detection, and highlight the importance of the content-in-context in judgmental processes. © 2010 International Communication Association.