The Truth About Lying

Everyone lies, right? Sure, but according to new research, a small percentage of people do most of the lying, while the rest of us are actually pretty honest.

For a study published in Human Communication Research, researchers conducted a survey of 527 people to find out how often they’d lied over the past day. Forty-one per cent said they hadn’t lied at all, and a mere five per cent turned out to be accountable for forty per cent of all the lies told.

Okay, but how do we know if those are honest responses? Well, researchers then invited the survey participants into the lab to play a dice game with—and this is the prop you need for any good honesty study—real cash. Participants who rolled higher numbers were entitled to more cash, but because researchers could not see the dice, they simply relied on what participants reported. Unsurprisingly, participants who’d previously admitted to being frequent liars also won the most case—by a large margin. However, keep in mind that this group of now flush liars was still much smaller than the entire group tested—a mere five per cent, who were oddly honest about how much they lied.

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