A new study from specialists was concerned with the tendency of people of telling lies. Even white lies can make you develop the habit. The research shows that only one lie can draw several others. It is difficult only the first time you say it, and the next lies will come out more naturally, the study suggests.
The recent research was conducted by specialists at the Duke University and University College London. They started from the premise that telling white lies is associated with a feeling of guilt. However, during the study, the researchers observed that repeating the lie or telling another one gets easier with practice.
The team of researchers led a series of experiments in the lab. Eighty volunteers helped them with the process. The exercises involved interaction between two people and the number of coins in a jar. The specialists provided the participants with different situations and noted their reactions. There were situations when lying benefited the liar, the listener, or both participants.
When people lie in order to benefit themselves, there are more negative feelings related to the action. However, white lies meant to help another person don’t make liars feel so bad about themselves and don’t see their action as a dishonest one.
During the experiments, the brain activity of participants was carefully monitored by the specialists. They used MRI scans and paid attention to the part of the brain were motivation and emotions are controlled. They observed that there was less activity in that area if participants repeated the same lie or got used to the act and idea of lying.
The authors of the study noted that a repeated act of lying even for benefiting themselves causes less remorse in people. The more often they do it, the more they grow used to it to the point of being a habit. In other words, people do not turn into automatic liars, but lying gets easier every time for them.
Previous studies account for similar tendencies in human behavior and the way the brain works. When exposed to repeated situations which trigger negative feelings, people tend to repress negativity.
On the other hand, studies on honesty show that honest people have a high intelligence. Such an experiment was led in Israel, and it was based on surveys, not on appliances measuring brain activity.
When was the last time you told a white lie?
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