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Trust and vulnerability

To navigate the world, we need to trust human communication implicitly, otherwise we would be paralyzed and cease to have social relationships. But we have to be aware of some facts:

  • We don't expect lies and are not continually searching for lies, giving liars an advantage.
  • We are more prone to falsehoods from people of wealth, power, and status.
  • We are very prone to accepting lies that affirm our worldview.
  • People are more likely to believe familiar information. Even if the information turns out to be false, we may continue to lean towards it.

However, we get so much from believing, that there is little harm when we occasionally get deceived.

MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • 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 average one or two times a day, mostly to hide inadequacies or to protect others' feelings.
  • Man...

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.

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 ar...

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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 prosocial lies are often viewed as more trustworthy and more moral than are people who tell harsh truths...

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 person seems unsure or insecure.
  • Shrugging, lack of expression, and a bored posture.
  • ...

The prevalent theory of dishonesty

From a legal perspective, dishonesty is the idea of cost-benefit analysis. When people think about being dishonest, they wonder what can be gained or what can be lost. If the cost of lying is too high, they are not going to be dishonest.