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The Consequences of Dishonesty | SPSP

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The Consequences of Dishonesty | SPSP
By: Scott Wiltermuth, David Newman, and Medha Raj Lying has its benefits. It allows people to feel better about themselves, to make themselves look better in others' eyes, and to maintain good relationships.

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Lies Motivated By Compassion

When we decide to lie, we privilege some other value over honesty. The value is often compassion, as people lie more about their feelings than about anything else. 

Those who tell...

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Lies Motivated By Desire for Material Gain

When a desire for material gain motivates lying, the consequences are likely to be negative. 
One factor that prevents people from lying for personal gain is the...

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Desire to Maintain a Positive Self-Concept

  • People sometimes lie to themselves or others out of a need to see themselves positively. 
  • People often experience greater positive emotions when exaggerating their i...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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.

Types of lies

Types of lies
  • White Lies. People tell white lies claiming to be tactful or polite.
  • Broken Promises. Failure to keep one’s spoken commitment or promise.
  • The Lie of ...