A Student's Blog: THE ART OF LYING !!

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Sunday, 29 December 2013


Lying....we do it a lot! And we are all lot better at it than you would like to think! Researchers who study human behavior says than in a ten minutes conversation with a stranger a person speaks 3 lies on an average. Now why do humans lie so much...what real purpose does it actually serves??

Talking about lies, humans are good at it but not the only ones doing it! An interesting example is "Koko the gorilla", the very first animal to be taught sign languages by scientist actually blamed her pet kitten for breaking the sink out of the wall of her room! 

So as i said, lying is not too uncommon in nature but why do humans specifically lie so much? Well the answer might be because we are first and foremost social animal and we have a very complex and developed brain! Now, you may be thinking why social interactions encourage us to lie so much! Its because we are around so many people and we, many times, try to stand out. We care about our family, friends and every other person around us and we want to keep them happy, and so we lie! We also lie to reap as much profit as we can from our everyday social interactions to become more successful or find a better sexual partner.

Now here's a question...When do we actually start lying? Well...you may not believe it but we start a lot more earlier than you could ever imagine! Ever saw a 6 months old baby 'fake-crying' where it just tries to attract someone to pamper. Yes that nut shell is already a liar!

Coming to the 'Science of lying'... the trick to lying to others is simple...just be a good liar to yourself! A person can lie effectively only when he can hold two contradictory information in his brain and maintain it that way. Take an example of a pathological liar, a person who lies almost regularly and impulsively. They can lie effectively because of the fact that they become very good at "Self-deception", they just don't say a lie they whole-heartedly believe it !!

Interestingly, there seems to be a real difference in brain morphology of normal and a pathological liar. Human brain is divided into two sections, Gray matter (processes information) and White matter (composed of connective tissues to carry nerve signals). In various studies, it has been found that pathological liar has a lot more area of his brain occupied by white matter which technically helps him to make newer connections and faster neuro-signals processing to tell and sustain his lies. That gives a huge advantage in terms of lying.

So, why isn't everyone's brain evolved that way consider the fact that this can actually give you a serious advantage. Well, there is the catch! Due to over abundance of white matter in the brain, extreme liar lacks certain amount of gray matter and hence their critical thinking is hampered, and they find hard times holding their relationships and jobs because no matter what, truth eventually crops up!

Now, is there any way to figure out a liar? Yes there is! You just have to OBSERVE! Its through person's body language and choice of words. For example, most of the lies start with person saying "believe me" or "to be totally honest", he tends to freeze his upper body or exhibit more/less eye contact. I know its tough but hey so does lying is! ;)


  1. lol, so true.
    lying has become more of a personality trait then a habit,
    people have mastered the art of lying so much that one can hardly tell a difference in if or no they are lying.
    Interesting observations, nice post..:)

  2. While I was aware of the animals lying experiment, this gray matter-white matter role in lying was unknown to me. :-) Reading this post certainly added to my knowledge. Thanks for suggesting this.