- Over 82% of lies go undetected
- Men typically lie more than women
- Extroverts tend to lie more than introverts
- False information is included in a third of all resumes
- Lying is a learned behavior
- Liars are more creative
- Bankers cheat twice as much as politicians
- In a ten minute conversation, you are likely to be lied to 2-3 times.
- 91% of people lie regularly at home and work
- Emails and IMs are filled with lies (easier to lie when you can’t be seen or heard)
- Without the proper know-how, lying can only be spotted about 54% of the time
- Lying is not rational behavior
It used to be believed that our decisions to lie and/or cheat were based upon three internal factors:
- The benefit gained by lying or cheating
- The probability of being caught
- The possible punishment received if caught
In his book “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty” Dan Ariely found that lying and cheating is not based upon the factors above, as previously believed, but rather by an internal struggle of how you view yourself…
Tony Robbins says we have two motivating forces: pain and pleasure. We all want to get ahead in the world and at the same time we all want to be a good person and have people like us. Because of this, we have a constant struggle going on within us as to how far we can go and still be seen as a good person. We are always striving toward receiving more pleasure or diminishing the pain.
Dan Ariely says, “We cheat up to the level that allows us to retain our self-image as reasonable honest individuals.” Vanessa Van Edwards from the Science of People says “The amount of cheating that happens is equal to the desire for gain minus the desire to be a good person.” Van Edwards goes on to say that we each have our personal limits as to what lying and cheating means to us. She uses the example of leaving candy out on Halloween with a note that says “Just one piece per trick or treater”. She says very few kids will follow the rules. Most will take two pieces and feel they are justified, several will go a step further and take three to four and the occasional kid will take the entire bowl.
Dan Ariely found that:
- “People were more prone to lying and stealing when they felt distanced from the consequences.”
- “When you remind someone of their prior achievements they become more prone to rationalize lying and stealing and feel they deserve it.”
- “The more creative a person was the more prone to cheating they were.”
- “Students he had primed to be more creative actually showed an increase in lying behavior.”
- “Once someone felt they were already cheating they cheated more.”
The good news is that there are some things that can be done to encourage people to lie less often. It all plays into reminding a person of their honesty and integrity.
- Have people sign honor codes. This helps to remind them of their own honesty and integrity.
- Have people take an oath in front of others to hold them accountable.
- Have people believe they are being watched.
Van Edwards says you can increase your accuracy in spotting a lie by first taking a baseline. This is done by asking the person questions you are pretty sure they would not be lying about such as the weather, their name, upcoming plans etc. under normal, non-threatening conditions. Pay attention to how they sound, how often they fidget, how they hold themselves. Make a mental note. Then you can begin to look for the inconsistencies with this baseline. She says not to judge on just one or two things that differ from the baseline but to look for a cluster of three or more.
She offers two easy ways to help spot a lie:
- Opposite Nodding—when people lie their body gives them away. They say “yes” but shake their head “no”
- One Sided Shoulder Shrug—People have the tendency to slightly lift their shoulder when they lie. It is as if they are telling you they don’t believe what they are saying.
Did you know that you can increase your ability to be a human lie detector from 54-90% accuracy with just a beginner level training? Today more than ever, we need to know when people are lying to us. With all the new technologies available to us, we must make decisions more quickly and so our knowledge of how to spot a lie becomes more and more imperative. Check out the course on “How to Be a Human Lie Detector” at http://www.thepresentationpros.com/body-language.html
Debbie Darling, ©2015 The Presentation Pros
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