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Psychological Lying – Why People Lie

1949 words - 8 pages

Introduction and Background
The psychology of lying is an interesting one because everyone at some point engages in lying. The audiences in of this works are the students and the teaching fraternity. The purpose of this work is to explore compelling reasons that make people lie. Unlike other phenomenon, lying is a relatively old phenomenon that exists throughout the world. This lying habit has been in existence for centuries and people find a way to lie about different things based on a subjective outcome intended by the lying party. Since lying has developed over many years, it has become a functional set of the social system and many people’s lives. The main challenge with lying is that it has a way of catching up with a person. When the lying person is exposed, s/he experiences a high level of guilt and shame that can propagate into several years when it goes unaddressed.
Conversely, people that note an individual is lying or has been lying to them tend to have a flawed perception towards the lying person (Von Hippel & Trivers, 2011). The society starts to avoid this person because they are not sure when the truth or lies are being told. The impact of lies is mainly on trust because people tend to devalue and treat lying people with suspicion.
People tend to lie in many situations. For instance, people will lie for living, at workplaces, to their friends as a way to attract and retain them. Although lying is an art that is highly condemned in the social setting, the defunct nature of this social setting sets a stage for individuals to keep lying and thus an act that all humans take part in, one way or the other.
Reasons that Make People Lie
First, people lie out of fear. People experience fear in different ways and at different intensities. Cole (2001) captures the concept of spouses lying to one another. In this context, a spouse may be afraid of losing the other partner after an indiscrete affair. This fear of loss makes it easier for the spouse to negate facts and thus result into lying. Further exploration in Cole’s work has shown that physical and mental abuses drive individuals to make spouses to lie about different things to prevent escalation of current problems. The challenge with lies is that they are unstructured and thus hard to detect unless there is some form of inconsistency in them. This shows that lying can sometimes help individuals get out of trouble. For instance, if a spouse was cheating, telling the truth may be more damaging than telling a lie. This is one depiction of how lying saves people from escalating the situation.
Nonetheless, despite such ideation compelling people to lie, these les tend to damage their reputation and thus cause more harm than telling the truth. The defunct nature of the social system has created a self-preservation phenomenon that instinctively compels people to cover up for their mistakes (Von Hippel & Trivers, 2011). However, people with the habit of lying tend to think that they have...

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