Psychology study: that's why we lie several times a day!

Why everyone is lying? Honesty is the best?

You never lie? That's a lie! Everyone lies at least once or twice a day. This was determined by a current study. But why are we lying? Do we want to present ourselves better or do we lie out of embarrassment?

Lying isn't always for your own benefit

Out of courtesy. For convenience. For your own benefit. Or simply out of habit. There are many reasons for a lie - and not all of them are automatically bad. How often people lie a day also depends on how much they communicate and whether they have to present themselves well in the job, for example.

You never lie? Whoever believes it will be saved!

US scientist Bella M. DePaulo found that you do it about once or twice a day. “The number 200 is also circulating on the Internet, but that's nonsense. You don't even know where that comes from, ”says Marc-André Reinhard, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kassel. But when is lying still okay - and when is it not?

For a week, DePaulo had participants in their study write down every lie. The result: The smaller part was lies for material reasons, that is, to gain an advantage. Most of the lies were told for other reasons - to portray yourself better or to be nice to others.

"Such little lies are very common and also part of certain social conventions, such as out of courtesy," says junior professor Kristina Suchotzki from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Younger people lie more

The DePaulo study dates back to 1998. However, it was only in the mid-2000s that other scientists began to take a closer look at liars and their behavior. Now there is a real boom, says Prof. Philipp Gerlach, psychologist and lie researcher at the Fresenius University in Hamburg.

In recent studies, the small number of average lies per day was confirmed. "However, some lie even less, others more often," says Prof. Reinhard. Suchotzki and her colleagues found that young adults lie the most, and the willingness to do so decreases with age.

Dating flunky is mostly allowed

People seem to tend to flicker, especially in dating situations. But they are not lying indiscriminately - rather, they are lying about things that are difficult to check, such as weight. "People want to present themselves in a better light," Suchotzki explains. "But this is accepted because it is part of the rules of the game of dating." So the beginning of the relationship goes hand in hand with deceptions.

If the relationship continues, the number of lies will decrease. But that is often perceived as negative: Now he is more honest, but less charming. “Research shows that love relationships are more stable if we have an image of the partner that is unrealistically positive. So you are happier if you think the partner is better than he really is, »says psychologist Reinhard.

Starting is easy - stopping is difficult

The basic rule for lying is: if a reward beckons, a prestigious job, for example, the probability increases. And: starting is more difficult than stopping. "If you are unlikely to be exposed, many continue," says Reinhard. «It is human. Real fraudsters often report a pull. »

But how do you become a repeat offender? That depends on the consequences. According to the normal sanction mechanism of a society or community, the liar is first mildly punished. In the worst case, he will be excluded later.

However, if someone lies again and again, it says: "If you lie once, you don't believe him." First the trust breaks, then the relationship or friendship. "Trust is important for society, which makes economic exchange and general coexistence easier," says Gerlach. "But this is precisely what tempts some." (Sb; Source: dpa, Angelika Mayr)

Author and source information

Video: Psychological Tricks: How To Spot a Liar. How To Read Anyone Instantly David Snyder (January 2022).