This paper offers a preliminary exploration into how culture and cultural orientation influence the perception of deceptive messages. Information manipulation theory (IMF) posits that covert violations of Grice's four conversational maxims give rise to messages that are functionally deceptive. This study (N = 323) attempted to replicate previous IMT results regarding the perceptions of information manipulation in an academic situation, and with a culturally diverse sample. Locus of benefit (self and other) was manipulated, and the respondents’ self‐construal was assessed. Previous IMT findings were replicated, and the effects for self‐construal on honesty ratings varied considerably by manipulation type. Explanations for these findings are provided, as are suggestions for future research. © 2000, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.