Do you know how to spot a liar? The 8 types of lies
What are the main lies liars use to deceive us?
We all know the famous Disney character called Pinocchiowho grew a nose every time he lied. Well, more than one of us would have to stretch this organ of the Respiratory system, because we lie more than we think we do.
This seems to indicate a study published in the book "Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception" by author Pamela Meyer. by author Pamela Meyer. As this text explains, people usually lie between 10 and 200 times a day, as we tend to tell parts of the truth.. In other words, we say only those phrases that people want to hear, those that are considered socially acceptable.
Moreover, lying is more frequent 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 we have just met. How can this be explained? According to Feldman, lying is an automatic self-esteem protection mechanism that is activated when we meet someone for the first time..
The "Pinocchio Effect" for detecting lies
But the relationship between lies and the nose, which characterizes the famous Disney character, is not only science fiction. Research by the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Granada has discovered that the temperature of our face increases when we lie, especially in the nose area. This is known as the "Pinocchio Effect". To carry out their study, they used thermography: a technique that detects body temperature.
The truth is that human beings are very bad lie detectors. This is confirmed by a study by Brigham Young University in the United States, which concludes that, when we have a person in front of us, we only realize that the other person is deceiving us between 54% and 56% of the time. And if it is difficult to catch a liar in person, it is even more complicated to catch him or her when we talk on WhatsApp.
- If you want to know some tricks to interpret WhatsApp messages, you can read our article, "How can I know if I'm being lied to on WhatsApp?"
The 8 types of lies
As we can see, we have all lied at one time or another. But are all lies the same? Certainly not. There are lies that are used to avoid hurting someone, lies that are used to achieve something and lies that are the result of exaggeration.
Here are the different types of lies. here are the different types of liesThe following is a practical guide that can be useful for you to be prepared for your appointments and in your daily life.
1. White lies
We could say that white lies are lies that have justification and that, for many, are forgivable.. This is because white lies have a benevolent intention. For example, if someone gives you something that may be special to them, but you don't like it and you know you won't use it in your life. You will probably lie to them and tell them that you loved their gift. Basically, in this example, lying is used to spare another person's feelings.
2. Broken promises
Broken promises are a failure to keep a previously spoken commitmentThey are characterized by a kind of implicit contract. Broken promises can be especially damaging when the person who made the promise had no intention of keeping his or her word from the start, because they generate hope in the other person.
Occasionally, it may happen that a white lie is also a broken promise. For example, if a girl you have asked to go out for a drink accepts your invitation to make yourself look good. But then, when the time comes, she stands you up because she never intended to go out with you. In other words, she only did it so that you wouldn't feel bad at that moment and she could get out of that compromising situation.
3. Intentional or Instrumental Lies
Intentional or instrumental lies are not benevolent in nature, but rather the opposite: they are self-interested.. This type of lies have the characteristic that they are used to get something, for example, a job.
Many people have lied on their resumes to get a job. As you can see, these lies do not necessarily have to have a malicious intent. Although, in some cases, people may use them to harm another individual.
4. Lies to oneself (self-deception)
This type of lies are unconscious and have to do with our beliefs, because it is difficult for us to question them. Also, sometimes it is difficult for us to accept reality and it is easier to lie to ourselves to avoid the fear of uncertainty, so we do not have to leave our comfort zone.
Cognitive dissonance is one of the most frequent causes of self-deception.. A classic example of this phenomenon is that of smokers. They know that smoking can lead to cancer, respiratory problems, chronic fatigue and even death. Even so, the vast majority continue to smoke because they delude themselves with phrases such as: "what's the point of living long if you can't enjoy life".
Rumors have more to do with the effect of a lie than with the intention. One of its characteristics is that rumors involve several people. A rumor is information whose veracity is in doubt or cannot be corroborated, because it is not known with certainty whether it is true or not.. Someone may intentionally spread a rumor although there need not be an underlying intention.
For example, a man named Antonio saw a female co-worker come out of his boss's office with a very friendly attitude and they hugged. Surprised, and as his boss is not exactly the friendliest person in the world, he runs to tell another colleague (Juan). Juan, who has not seen the event, but who from Antonio's reaction thinks that there is something serious between the boss and the employee, the next morning tells another office colleague. The latter tells another colleague, who does the same until the whole office knows about it. The last person to tell has received the distorted information, and the details of what happened have been exaggerated so much that it really seems that there is a romantic relationship between the two actors.
Rumors can cause a lot of damage, and in fact, it was one of the strategies used by the Nazis to make the German population reject Jews during World War II.
Surely you have come across someone who tends to exaggerate everything they say. For example, that he has flirted with many girls when in reality he has only had success with one. Well, exaggeration is nothing more than that. They are usually stories that have some truth to them, but are often exaggerated to impress others..
In addition to stories in which lies are added, there are also lies of omission, characterized by the fact that the person does not make up the story, but omits relevant facts.
Plagiarism 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 subjects because of it, and some professional writers have been denounced for having copied the work of other individuals. In addition, plagiarism is willful; it is an act of bad faith. That is why it is one of the most reprehensible lies, because it combines both the appropriation of a work that is not one's own, and the malice.
8. Compulsive lies
Compulsive lies are the lies that compulsive liars tell over and over again.. They are usually caused by a serious problem (e.g., low self-esteem) so these people often require attention. In fact, a compulsive liar may have difficulty stopping their impulse to lie, and they often tell lies even when it is easier to tell the truth.
- Learn about the real case of a compulsive liar in our article: "Compulsive liar psychoanalyzed: a real case".
- Adler, J.E. Lying, deceiving, or falsely implicating. Journal of Philosophy.
- Carson, Thomas L. (2006). The Definition of Lying. Nous.
- Fallis, Don. (2009). What is Lying? Journal of Philosophy.
- Sorensen, Roy. (2007). Bald-Faced Lies! Lying Without the Intent to Deceive. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)