3 Surprising facts about lying


1. Lying just doesn’t come naturally for people.

Good news if you want to believe in humanity: lying just doesn’t come naturally for people. A 2008 study asked people to hide their genuine emotions using a variety of different techniques and found that every single study participant showed some degree of “emotional leakage” in their facial expressions – that is, they inadvertently displayed their true feelings despite their best intentions.

2. Most people are bad at detecting deception.

People are almost as bad at detecting lies as they are at lying. In the same study that showed people to be truly awful liars, observers with no training in spotting deception were barely better at identifying the fake emotions than if they’d guessed randomly.

3. Lying affects how much you blink and also the size of your pupils.

In the 2008 experiment, people who hid their emotions tended to blink at a different rate. Those who hid their emotions by masking them with other emotions blinked faster while those who hid their emotions by neutralizing them (showing a “poker face”) blinked slower. Fabricating a story requires creative thinking. Creative thinking increases the cognitive load on the brain. Pupils tend to dilate when the cognitive load increases.

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