Lies, Lies Sweet Little Lies!

Pamela Meyer’s article, Seven Big Lies About Lying,  featured in HuffPost Politics underlines the idea that we live in an “age of deception”.  Here is a sneak peek of the seven lies she delineates in her article.

1.  Lying is the exception to the rule
Meyer equates the evolution of deception to an arms race in which our ability to detect deception must keep up with our ability to deceive.  The more sophisticated the stories, the more advanced the techniques required to detect them.

2.  Humans are a naturally honest species
She goes on to purport that researchers have long known that the more intelligent the species, the more deceptive it is.  The example she use is that Koko, the gorilla who was taught sign language, once blamed her pet kitten for ripping a sink out of the wall. We are hard wired to become leaders of the pack.

3.  America is opposed to lying
On the contrary, Meyer insists we embrace white lies.  Truth, she writes, in our society often takes a back seat to securing gainful consequences.

4.  Lying is hard to detect
Meyer states that this is true only if you are untrained and much of our population is untrained.

5.  A liar won’t look you in the eyes
Honest people will only look others in the eye a comfortable 60% of the time, Meyer affirms.  When someone stares you down…looks you in the eye in order to prove truthfulness, think again. Remember that liars “not looking you in the eye” is one of the biggest myths out there.

6.  The powerful lie because they believe they are above the law
There are many reasons why people lie and why some people are better at it than other.  Meyer is sure to point out that what is clear is there is usually an element of denial involved for a liar.  Many liars deny their own sense of helplessness and vulnerability to themselves and others.

7.  Lying is only natural and it is harmless enough
This is up for debate when one takes into consideration white lies and honest lies where the person might have truly forgot.  However, Meyer was kind enough to point out that corporate fraud cost close to a trillion dollars last year.

She writes,

The average human can detect a lie only 54% of the time.  Why?  Because when someone lies to
us, we rarely find out about it immediately—we learn much later we were lied to and don’t
remember if someone covered their mouth or shrugged their shoulders.  We don’t learn a lies
distinguishing features on the spot.  When you hit a tennis ball out of the court you can instantly
correct your serve…but deceptive behavior doesn’t provide the same kind of learning curve.

What do you think?  Do you agree whole-heartedly or do think this is a load of bologna?

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