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Lying and Psychology. Do you Lie?. What is a lie?.

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What is a lie
What is a lie?

  • A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others, often with the further intention to maintain a secret or reputation, protect someone's feelings or to avoid a punishment or repercussion for one's actions.

  • To lie is to state something that one knows to be false or that one does not honestly believe to be true with the intention that a person will take it for the truth.

  • Lying is typically used to refer to deceptions in oral or written communication. Other forms of deception, such as disguises or forgeries, are generally not considered lies, though the underlying intent may be the same. However, even a true statement can be used to deceive. In this situation, it is the intent of being overall untruthful rather than the truthfulness of any individual statement that is considered the lie.

What if you only could tell the truth
What if you only could tell the truth?

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.


  • Lying

I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.


How does it relate to psychology
How does it relate to Psychology?

  • Behavioral Psychologists study human behavior and one aspect of this is the way people lie.

  • Compulsive lying is often a sign of other psychological issues.

  • Pathological liar refers to a liar that is compulsive or impulsive, lies on a regular basis and is unable to control their lying despite of foreseeing inevitable negative consequences or ultimate disclosure of the lie.

Why someone may become a pathological liar
Why someone may become a Pathological liar

  • Low self-esteem is a commonly found feature in pathological liars. The lie maybe an attempt to feel good about themselves, generally for a short period of time

  • A dysfunctional family;

  • Sexual or physical abuse in childhood;

  • Impulse control disorders; such as kleptomania, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping.

  • Personality disorders such as Sociopathic, Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic and more;

  • Substance abuse or substance abuse in family;

A lie is a condition of life
A lie is a condition of life.

  • For adults, lying serves purposes other than avoiding punishment, although most adults have tried lying to get out of a traffic ticket or other more serious infractions.

  • Adults want to control how others see them. And they want to control how they see themselves.

  • People will lie to appear more agreeable and to impress others in a social situation. In effect, they want to elevate their self-esteem. They will lie about the kind of car they drive, where they live, and how much money they make.

  • Many people believe to lie is to ‘make life easier’

  • For children they are taught to lie. They are taught through social cues and the teaching of ‘protecting’ someone’s feelings

  • Children receive conflicting messages about lying

Research on lying
Research on Lying

  • It is seen as a condition of life

  • Research has shown that men and women lie 30% of the time in a week’s worth of one on one interactions.

  • However, men are more likely to lie about themselves where as women lie more to protect the feelings of the person

  • College students lie to their mothers one out of two conversations

  • Research also shows that the closer you are to someone the more likely you are to use ‘kind’ lies rather than blatant ones

Who lies
Who Lies?

  • Under enough pressure or given enough incentive anyone will lie

  • Extroverted people are slightly more likely to lie than introverted

  • People who score high on scales of responsibility and those who are clinically depressed tend to lie less

  • But researchers believe a certain level of lying to yourself is healthy

How to tell if someone is lying
How to Tell if someone is lying

  • Avoiding eye contact. Is the person looking down or away?

  • Change in tone of voice. Is the person speaking in a higher or lower pitch than usual or speaking faster?

  • Body language. Is the person turning away, covering the mouth or face, or fidgeting?

  • Contradicting what was said earlier. Is the person saying something when he or she said something different earlier?

  • The person does not use I or my when telling the story

Lying and psychology

  • Fake smiles

  • You will see 20 people “smile.”

  • Record whether you think the smile is genuine or fake.

  • See how many you can get correct.