Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect, and lying is no exception, as a new study shows practicing a lie for a mere twenty minutes can make it indistinguishable from the truth.
The study, published in the Frontiers of Science journal, shows that practicing a lie can allow liars to tell that lie just as easily and naturally as they would tell the truth.
“After a short time of training, people can be very efficient at lying,” said Xioaqing Hu, the study’s co-author and psychology doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. “The difference between lying and being honest has been eliminated after the training.”
Hu and his peers at Northwestern were especially interested in the effect time had on lies, so they focused their study that particular aspect.
The team asked 16 volunteers to remember three fake facts about themselves: a new name, a new date of birth and a new hometown.
The volunteers were then asked whether or not a specific personal fact was true. Responders would press a “yes” or ‘no” button in front of them to input their answers.
A certain percentage of volunteers were designated “liars,” and were instructed to press “yes” when something was false and “no” when something was true.
While volunteers initially hesitated while lying, after 270 trials or 20 minutes of practicing a lie, they were able to tell the lie as naturally as the truth.
Lying is especially difficult because it goes against what the brain instinctively knows and wants to do, as the truth is what is stored in the brain.
It takes a lot more brainpower to lie, as it suppresses the natural desire to tell the truth.
“Lying is a difficult, because honesty is the default communication mode,” Hu said.
This explains why children are such terrible liars, as they have only recently learned the default communication mode.
Once practiced, however, suppressing the desire to tell the truth can become second nature, which can explain why some people seemingly cannot tell the truth.
Practicing a lie can suppress the truth so much so that the individual telling the lie actually believes it.
The researchers hope their data will help law enforcement agencies deal with criminals.
Hopefully people do not use this new data in order to become better liars. Aw hell, of course they will. I already started practicing.
Stephen Willard | Elite.