People who weren’t as familiar with their situations couldn’t distinguish lies from truths any higher than 50 percent, whereas people who were highly familiar with their situations were able to detect deception with 8-23 percent more accuracy.
Part of this is because when people are more familiar with the situations and/or people they are talking with, they have more baseline information and contextual cues to refer to.
5. People Prefer to Lie for Their Teams
Studies have found that people are more willing to lie to receive incentives that benefit their entire team rather than incentives that are just for themselves. For example, employees are more likely to lie to their boss about the progress of a project when doing so prevents their entire team from getting in trouble rather than just themselves.
Researchers suspect the willingness to lie in team environments isn’t entirely selfless, though. In group environments, people tend to feel less guilty for lying because they are helping others. They are less afraid to lie because there is less of a chance of them being caught and suffering the entire blame because everyone on their team is implicated.
6. Lying in Email vs Pen and Paper
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen. – Maimonides
The frequency of lying does change based on the medium, but can it change within the same one? Researchers have found that people are more likely to lie when using email versus pen and paper. This is wild!
Both are the same in terms of “media richness,” meaning both forms are text only. Yet, people lie more, reveal less information, and feel more justified when using email than when sending a message via pen and paper. According to the study, “The findings were consistent, whether the task assured participants that their lie either would or would not be discovered by their counterparts.”
7. Memories of Liars
For the majority of people, lying about an event increased their certainty that the event in question did not happen when asked about it later.
However, 10-16 percent of the participants appeared to have had their memories altered by their lies because they reported believing their lies were actually true. Researchers believe that in those cases telling lies wields the same power as the imagination to alter memories.
Very clearly imagining events can trick the brain into labeling them as memories.
8. Bilingual Lying
If you think it’s hard lying in your native tongue, try lying in a second language.
Researchers have found that people show a greater stress response when lying in a second language because it is already more challenging to speak the second language, and lying increases cognitive stress.
In one specific study, results suggest that two main factors affect the physiological nature of an individual when they lie in another language:
1) arousal due to emotions associated with lying, and 2) anxiety about managing speech production in the non-native language.
9. Liars Struggle to Answer Why Questions
If you suspect someone might be lying to you but aren’t sure, an easy way to find out is to ask them “Why?” questions. It is much more difficult for people to lie about why they did something or why something happened than it is for them to lie about basic facts. If someone struggles to explain their intentions, it’s a major red flag that they are lying.
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