xxxii) Lying

Not understanding what is involved in lying. Generally, people lie for 2 reasons: to make a gain or avoid a pain. When most people lie, their non-verbal responses inform the audience that they are not telling the truth

. Need to be aware of institutional lying (Fiona Smith, 2009ac), ie dishonesty that occurs daily as people manipulate the truth to gain some advantage, usually financially or for power. Recent research has highlighted the "domino theory on lying, ie involves a small group of powerful people telling lies repeatedly and owing to their influence these lies are spread as the truth throughout the organisation. Generally, this occurs in an organisation where there is great pressure to succeed at all costs. In these situations, despite ethical policies and value statements, etc, people will continue to lie.

It has been found that children who lie the most have the best cognitive development as lying requires developing the art of storytelling; this includes planning ahead and knowing what and how you are going to say (SBS, 2021).

What makes a liar?

They have differences in 2 brain cell types, ie

- grey matter (stores information and controls your impulse)

- white matter (creates connections between the grey cells, ie information).

Research has shown that liars have 25% more white matter cells and 14% less grey matter cells when compared with a 'normal' person (SBS, 2021a).

The more connections, ie white-matter, the easier it is to make links between the information stored, ie grey matter.

To tell the truth, you need fewer connections to the sources of information than if you lie. As liars ignore the truth and have to invented a story to replace the truth, they needs more white matter cells. Liars need good pathways (white matter) to access more information (grey matter) to tell a convincing story as they are not telling the truth.

Digital technology has allowed a new form of lying ie digital deception, like mis-information, eg fake news, fake reviews, etc. Researchers have identified that misinformation can be identified by the logistic patterns (words) they use. For example, in fake reviews, they are more subjective (many references to 'I') than the real reviews.

There is less lying in E-mails and text messages, as there is a written record. However, there is more lying on the phone and face-to-face, as most assume there is no written record.

In addition to the traditional indications of lying, like tone of voice, body language, etc, the eyes are a good indicator; the dilation of the eye's pupils indicate that a person is lying. This is not visible to the human eye; you need a machine to observe it. Pupils dilate when the brain is very active, ie working harder, and this happens when a person is lying as opposed to telling the truth. This dilation is an involuntary movement, ie it cannot be manipulated unlike some other mechanical lie detection methods, eg polygraph machines.


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