Entries in Lying (3)


Less Lying, More Truth Telling Linked to Better Health

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NOTRE DAME, Ind.) -- It may seem like conventional wisdom, but telling the truth on a consistent basis can make you healthier, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
With recent evidence showing that Americans tell an average of 11 lies per week, psychology researchers at Notre Dame were curious about the benefits of living a more honest life. They found that the fewer fibs you tell, the better you sleep at night, and that lying less was also tied to better relationships.

Lead researcher Anita Kelly says that in the small study of just 110 people, ranging in age from 18-71, those who purposefully avoided lying for 10 weeks experienced fewer physical and emotional complaints.

"Feeling blue, feeling anxious, having trouble falling asleep and that sort of thing.  Those are the kinds of mental health complaints they were reporting having fewer of those when they lied less," Kelly said.

Interestingly, the researchers also noted the ways in which people attempted to avoid lying such as avoiding troubling questions by distracting with another questions. It turns out that lying by omission or avoidance and telling those "little white lies" can also take their toll if they cause stress, they found.

"So it was very clear that … that lying less was linked to better health for our participants," Kelly said.

This study was presented at the American Psychological Association meeting and has not been peer-reviewed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Direction of Eye Movements May Not Indicate Lying

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Your eyes may not say it all when it comes to lying, according to a new study.

Despite the common belief that shifty eyes -- moving up and to the right -- indicate deception, researchers found no connection between where the eyes move and whether a person is telling the truth.

In three separate experiments, they tested whether people who lied tended to move their eyes up and to the right, more than people who were not lying.  They found no association between which direction the eyes moved and whether participants were telling the truth.

"This is in line with findings from a considerable amount of previous work showing that facial clues (including eye movements) are poor indicators of deception," wrote the authors, led by Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.  The study is published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Howard Ehrlichman, a professor emeritus of psychology at Queens College of the City University of New York, has done considerable research on eye movements, and said he also never found any link between the direction of eye movements and lying.

"This does not mean that the eyes don't tell us anything about what people are thinking," he said.  "I found that while the direction of eye movements wasn't related to anything, whether people actually made eye movements or not was related to aspects of things going on in their mind."

He said that people tend to make eye movements -- about one per second on average -- when they are retrieving information from their long-term memory.

"If there's no eye movement during a television interview, I'm convinced that the person has rehearsed or repeated what they are going to say many times and don't have to search for the answer in their long-term memories," Ehrlichman said.

He said he's not sure where the notion about directionality of eye movement and lying came from, but said it has spread despite little scientific evidence for it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Calling Your Bluff: Brain Scans Reveal the Truth

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PASADENA, California) -- It may be difficult to tell if someone is lying from the outside, but a new study is the latest to find that a brain scan may be the ticket to calling someone's bluff.

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and California Institute of Technology used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to scan the brain activity of 76 study participants while they played a bargaining game.  In the game, a buyer and seller bargained with each other for the best price.  Only the buyer knew the real price of the item.

The study's authors found the buyers who bluffed showed more activity in the brain regions that contribute to complex decision-making, maintaining goals, and understanding other people's beliefs.

"Although it's controversial, my interpretation is that humans have a natural instinct toward honesty," said Dr. Colin Camerer, the Robert Kirby professor of Behavioral Economics at California Institute of Technology, and the co-author of the study.  "To be actively dishonest requires extra thinking, so the brain would be working harder."

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that this brain activity may help differentiate between honest individuals and those who attempt to manipulate their social image in another person's mind.  In the future, the authors said these scans could help diagnose mental disorders or contribute to finding the truth in the courtroom.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio