Detecting Lies and Deceit - Deepstash

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Good Liars

People tend to underestimate their own ability to lie (Elaad, 2003).

There are several reasons why people think they are worse liars than they actually are. First, they tend to overestimate the extent to which their own thoughts, emotions, and other mental states are transparent to others (e.g., illusion of transparency, Gilovich, Savitsky, & Medvec, 1998). In other words, people mistakenly believe that their lies shine through. Second, self-perceptions are typically characterised by positive illusions (Taylor & Brown, 1988),


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Good Liars

and people typically think of themselves as being more moral than most others (Kaplar & Gordon, 2004).

Admitting to being a good liar does not match with this positive self-image. Third, although people tell more white lies than serious lies, they remember their serious lies better than their white lies (Elaad, 2003).


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Poor Lie Detectors

Finally, perhaps people remember better those times when their lies failed than when they lied successfully, particularly if these failed lies resulted in negative consequences.

By forgetting the times they lied successfully, they may underestimate how often their lies succeed.

People tend to overestimate their own ability to detect lies (Elaad, 2003) and more lies remain unnoticed than they generally think.


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Poor Lie Detectors

There are many reasons why lies remain undetected, and they can be clustered into three main categories (Vrij, 2007): poor motivation; difficulties associated with lie detection; and common errors made by lie detectors.


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