LivingDo you tell a lot of lies? Find out...

Do you tell a lot of lies? Find out if you belong to that peculiar 1%

According to a new scientific study, humans are more honest than we thought . A team of Alabama researchers conducted an experiment with 632 participants. They collected more than 100,000 lies over the course of 91 days. They found that only 1% of people regularly tell more than 15 lies a day, and that most are little white lies.

Overall, most of the lies were told by only “a few prolific liars”, just 1%. The study was published in the journal Communication Monographs.

“People are mostly honest , except for a few pathological liars ,” said lead study author Timothy Levine, who studies deception. “There is that top 1% who tell more than 15 lies a day, day after day.”

For the study, the researchers tracked the lies of 632 undergraduate students every day for three months. The participants , 75% women, were asked to keep a “hoax diary.” This took the form of a series of daily online questionnaires via smartphones, tablets or computers. Participants were asked how many times they lied in the past 24 hours as well as how many times they lied in a typical day.

The main motives for lying were to “avoid others,” to protect oneself, to impress or appear more favorable, to protect another person, or to hurt another person. Other lies were for personal gain, someone else’s, or as a form of humor.

The results showed that 77% of the study participants were consistently honest, telling zero to two lies a day. In contrast, 16% told five or more lies a day.

The researchers conclude that their study shows that everyday communication is probably safer than we think.


Referencia: Unpacking variation in lie prevalence: Prolific liars, bad lie days, or both?

Kim B. Serota,Timothy R. Levine & Tony Docan-Morgan

Received 01 Mar 2021, Accepted 08 Sep 2021, Published online: 10 Oct 2021


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