9 Scientific Ways To Tell When Someone Is Lying

8. Why We Lie

To catch a liar, you've gotta know your enemy.

There's a paradox at the heart of lying.We claim to hate it and we hate being lied to but, as the statistics show, we all do it.

Lying about ourselves, first and foremost, is generally a way of closingthe gap between our imagined selves and our reality. Sometimes you might lie without even thinking about it, you might say that you're taller than you are, you might lie about your weight, you might exaggerate your interest in old school hip hop. Objectively, you can be pretty sure that this information is not going to impact anyone else's life in a dramatic way, it's more a way of weaving an identity for yourself.

It is also thought that lying is an inherent part of our evolution.

There are definite benefits to being able to lie well. As highly social creatures, the ability to manipulate others will serve you well and, ultimately, lead to evolutionary success (that's bonking to you and me). Being able to do selfish things and get away with it is just always going to be too tempting.

It's not all about getting one up on each other, however, as lying serves an important role in group communication and cooperation.

Being able to judge the expectations of others and adapt your behaviour accordingly, even if that means telling a couple of porkies, can lead to social success and even better cooperation. It can get us out of awkward situations, protect others and even forge friendships.Sometimes it's not always the best idea to completely speak your mind.

That said, sometimes we really do need to sort the fact from the fiction, but how?


Writer. Raconteur. Gardeners' World Enthusiast.