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The Consequences of Dishonesty | SPSP

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. However, not all prosocial lying driven by compassion yields benefits. People who receive overly positive feedback about their abilities are susceptible to thinking they will succeed in enterprises with very low chances of success and may therefore launch ill-advised ventures.

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The Consequences of Dishonesty | SPSP

The Consequences of Dishonesty | SPSP

http://www.spsp.org/news-center/blog/the-consequences-of-dishonesty

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Key Ideas

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. However, not all prosocial lying driven by compassion yields benefits. People who receive overly positive feedback about their abilities are susceptible to thinking they will succeed in enterprises with very low chances of success and may therefore launch ill-advised ventures.

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 need/desire to see oneself as a moral person. 

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 intelligence or skill to themselves or others.
  • Liars driven by the desire to see themselves positively can forget that their dishonesty contributed to their success. Consequently, they may make misguided bets about their future performance. 

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