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Why Do We Lie?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-dolphin-divide/201309/why-do-we-lie

psychologytoday.com

Why Do We Lie?
We say it's wrong. We use euphemistic terms like "white lie" or "fibbing" to ease our guilt. We superstitiously cross our fingers behind our backs, as if to somehow suspend the rules and judge ourselves on the right side of communicative fair play. And, oh, the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.

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Our reasons for lying

Where lying is concerned, we just can't seem to help ourselves. 

We lie for two reasons: behavioral conditioning and cognitive evolutionary biology.

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Behavioral conditioning

Lying keeps us hooked because we enjoy the reward. The outcomes are unpredictable.
Lying is reinforced every time we get away with it. 

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Cognitive evolutionary biology

Lying is a valuable tool in our survival kit. We can spare someone's feelings or build social standing. Lying can keep us out of trouble or even save our lives.

Practicing deception starts as early as six months of age such as fake crying or laughter. But people only start to get good at it after another four years where they learn to let go of the unbelievable lies and settle for what kind of lies work. 

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To lie is human

To lie is human
  • Lying is something that most people are very practiced in. We lie in big and small ways, to strangers, co-workers, friends, and loved ones.
  • Researchers found that people lie on ave...

Lying increases with maturity

The increase in lying is driven by the development of the ability to see the world from someone else's perspective. We gain an understanding of the beliefs, intentions, and knowledge of others.

The more we lie, the easier it becomes. Among two-year-olds, only 30 percent are untruthful. Among three-year-olds, 50 percent lie. By eight, kids learn to mask their lying by deliberately giving a wrong answer or making their statement seem like a guess.

Why we limit our lies

We like to see ourselves as honest because we have internalized honesty as a value taught to us. We generally place limits on how much we are willing to lie.

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Body Language

Body Language

While body language cues can offer clues to deceptions, it is often not good enough. More accurate signals are:

  • Intentionally leaving out important details.
  • If the p...

Ask Them to Tell Their Story in Reverse

The passive process of observing a potential liar's body language and facial expressions to spot lies is limited.

Adopt a more active approach by asking the individual to relate their story in reverse order rather than chronological order.

Trust Your Instincts

People often rely on stereotypical behaviors that are often associated with lying such as fidgeting or shifty eyes. But these signs are simply old wives' tales.

Your first gut reactions might be more accurate than any conscious lie detection you might attempt.

Honesty As A Blind Spot

Honesty As A Blind Spot

Since man started observing human behaviour, our focus has been on the studies done on deception, morality, and lying. In the last fifty years, almost no study or research has been carried out on

Lying Is Becoming Mainstream

As lies morph into a common, accepted standard, our attention (and obsession) is with guilt, fakeness, deceit and manipulation.

Human beings, according to countless behavioural studies, lie when they know they can get away with it, or when they see other people lie, and even when we are in groups, where we tend to mimic the others(herd mentality).

Dishonesty As a Global Currency

In any social setting, lies keep the world from falling apart, becoming the real global currency:

  • Organizations and their employees routinely lie to preserve identity, protect the reputation of an individual or group
  • In relationships, one lies to spare the other from feeling bad, or to avoid an awkward situation.
  • We lie to ourselves and consistently believe we are smarter or better looking that we really are.
  • We lie on social media.