Can you spot a liar? The 8 types of lies

We all know the famous Disney character named Pinocchio, To which his nose grew every time he lied. Well, more than one should be stretching this organ of the respiratory system, because we lie more than we realize.

This seems to indicate a study published in the book “Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception” by author Pamela Meyer. As this text explains, people usually lie 10-200 times a day because we usually tell parts of the truth. In other words, we only say the phrases people want to hear, the ones that are considered socially acceptable.

Also, lying is more common when we have just met someone new. In another book called “The Liar in Your Life”, University of Massachusetts psychology professor Robert Feldman explains that: “We lie two to three times in the first 10 minutes of the first conversation with someone. that we have just met “. How is this explained? According to Feldman, lying is an automatic self-esteem protection mechanism that is activated when we first meet someone.

The “Pinocchio effect” to detect lies

But the relationship between the lie and the nose, which characterizes the famous Disney character, is not just science fiction. Research conducted by the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Granada has found that it increases the temperature of our face when we lie down, especially in the nose area. This is called the “Pinocchio effect”. To carry out their study, they used thermography: a technique that detects body temperature.

The truth is, humans are really bad lie detectors. This is confirmed by a study from Brigham Young University in the United States, which concludes that when we have one person in front of us, we only realize that the other is cheating on us between 54% and 56% of the time. And while it’s hard to catch a liar in person, it’s harder to catch when we’re talking on WhatsApp.

  • If you want to know some tips for interpreting WhatsApp messages, you can read our article: “How do I know if WhatsApp is lying to me?”

The 8 types of lies

As we see, we have all lied once. But are all lies the same? Certainly not. There are lies that are used not to hurt someone, lies that are used to accomplish something, and lies that are the result of exaggeration.

Then we present to you the different types of lies, In a practical guide which can be useful for you to be careful in your appointments and in your daily life.

1. Pious lies

You could say that pious lies are lies that have a justification and which, for many, are forgivable. This is because pious lies have benevolent intent. For example, if someone gives us something that may be special to them, but you don’t like them and know you won’t use it in your life. Surely you hang out and tell her that you liked her gift. Basically, in this example, lying is used so as not to hurt another person’s feelings.

2. Broken promises

Broken promises they fail to maintain a previously pronounced commitment, And are characterized because there is some kind of implied contract. Broken promises can be especially bad when the person who made the promise didn’t intend to keep their word from the start, because they generate hope in the other person.

Sometimes it can happen that a white lie is also a broken promise. For example, if a girl you asked to go get something for, accept your invitation to look good. But then, when the time comes, he gives you plantations because at no time did he intend to go out with you. In other words, he only did it so that you wouldn’t feel bad at the time and get out of this compromised situation.

3. Intentional or instrumental lies

Intentional or instrumental lies they are not benevolent, but on the contrary: they seek their own interest. These types of lies have the characteristic of being used to obtain something, for example a job.

There are a lot of people who lied about the resume to find a job. As you can see, these lies don’t have to have malicious intent. Although in some cases people can use them to hurt another person.

4. Lying to yourself (self-deception)

These types of lies are unconscious and have to do with our beliefs because we find it hard to question them. In addition, sometimes it is difficult for us to accept reality and it is easier to lie to ourselves to avoid the fear of uncertainty, because this way we must not step out of the comfort zone.

Cognitive dissonance it is one of the most common causes of self-deception. A classic example of this phenomenon is that of smokers. They know that smoking can cause cancer, respiratory problems, chronic fatigue and even death. Yet the vast majority continue to smoke because they deceive themselves with phrases like: “What’s the point of living a lot if you can’t enjoy life”.

5. Rumors

Rumors must have, more than with intention, the effect produced by a lie. One of its characteristics is that several people participate in rumors. A rumor is information whose veracity is in doubt or cannot be corroborated, because it is not known with certainty whether it is true. Someone can intentionally spread a rumor even though there is no reason to have any substantive intent.

For example, a man named Antonio saw a coworker come out of his boss’s office with a very friendly demeanor and they hugged. Surprised, and since his boss isn’t exactly the nicest person in the world, he goes to tell another (John) about it. Joan, who has not seen the event, but who, due to Antonio’s reaction, thinks there is something serious between the boss and the employee, is explained the next morning by a another office colleague. The latter explains it to another colleague, who does the same thing until the whole office knows about it. The last person to explain it received the distorted information, and the details of the facts were exaggerated so that there really does appear to be a romantic relationship between the two actors.

Rumors can cause great harm, and in fact, it was one of the strategies the Nazis used because the German population would reject Jews during WWII.

6. Exaggeration

Surely you have already met someone who tends to exaggerate everything they say. For example, he dated many girls when in fact he only succeeded with one. Well, the hype is nothing more than that. These are usually stories that have a bit of truth, but are often exaggerated to impress others..

In addition to the stories in which lies are added, there are also default lies, characterized in that the person does not make up the story, but omits the relevant data.

7. Plagiarism

plagiarism it refers not only to lying, but also to theft. It consists of copying the work of another. Plagiarism is a serious act and can have legal consequences. Some students have failed in subjects because of it, and some professional writers have been reported to have copied other people’s works. In addition, in plagiarism, there is volunteering, it is an act of bad faith. This is why this is one of the most reprehensible lies, because it unites both the appropriation of a job that is not his own and the mourning.

8. Compulsive lies

Compulsive lies Those are the lies committed, over and over, by compulsive liars. They’re usually caused by a serious problem (for example, low self-esteem), so these people often require attention. In fact, a compulsive liar can have a hard time stopping their urge to lie, and they often tell lies even when it’s easier to tell the truth.

  • Discover the real case of a compulsive liar in our article: “Psychoanalysed compulsive liar: a real case”

Bibliographical references:

  • Adler, I Lie, deceive or imply wrongly. Philosophy magazine.
  • Carson, Thomas L. (2006). The definition of lying. We.
  • Fallis, Don. (2009). What is lying ?. Philosophy magazine.
  • Sorensen, Roy. (2007). Bald-faced lies! Lying without wanting to deceive. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

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