More on Lying

Default position

"...We have a default to truth: our operating assumption is that the people we are dealing with are honest..."
Malcolm Gladwell 2019

To change this position, ie the default to truth requires more than suspicion or doubt. It only happens when the case against our initial assumptions becomes definitive, ie
"...We start by believing. And we stop believing only when our doubts and misgivings rise to the point where we can no longer explain them away..."
Malcolm Gladwell 2019

" believe someone not because you have no doubts about them. Belief is not the absence of doubt. You believe someone because you don't have enough doubts about them..."
Tim Levine as quoted by Malcolm Gladwell 2019

NB This stresses the distinction between some doubts and enough doubts:
" real life......lies a rare. And those lies that are told are told by a very small subset of people..."
Tim Levine as quoted by Malcolm Gladwell 2019

Liars and con-men are few and are successful owing to our 'default to truth' (preference to believe people) and liars able to 'mismatched' (forcefully synchronise body language and words to support liar).

This low-level of lie-telling explains why it is not important that we are not good at detecting lies in real life, ie defaulting to truth is the preferred option.
"...over the course of evolution, human beings never developed sophisticated and accurate skills of detecting deception as it was happening because there was no advantage..."
Tim Levine as quoted by Malcolm Gladwell 2019

There is a trade-off between truth default and the risk of deception, ie we are vulnerable to the occasional lie.
"...default to truth is a crucially important strategy that occasionally and unavoidably leads us astray. Transparency is a seemingly commonsense assumption that turns out to be an allusion..."
Malcolm Gladwell 2019


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