Perfection in Deception?

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You, too, can be a perfect liar…with the right training. Don’t believe me? Why would I lie to you?

Via Medical News Today:

New Northwestern University research shows that lying is more malleable than previously thought, and with a certain amount of training and instruction, the art of deception can be perfected.

People generally take longer and make more mistakes when telling lies than telling the truth, because they are holding two conflicting answers in mind and suppressing the honest response, previous research has shown. Consequently, researchers in the present study investigated whether lying can be trained to be more automatic and less task demanding.

This research could have implications for law enforcement and the administering of lie detector tests to better handle deceptions in more realistic scenarios.

Researchers found that instruction alone significantly reduced reaction times associated with participants’ deceptive responses.

The researchers say that with enough training, it might also be possible to regulate the physiological cues that give away liars.

Take a minute to get your story straight and keep reading.

9 Comments on "Perfection in Deception?"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Dec 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |


    “People generally take longer and make more mistakes when telling lies than telling the truth, because they are holding two conflicting answers in mind and suppressing the honest response . . .”

    I don’t agree with this, but I understand how such mistakes get made.

    The correlation of perceived falsity is to the complexity of the statement, not to the statement’s actual trurthfulness or falsity. Yes, based on statements of equal information richness, a lie is more complex because it is predicated upon the speaker’s hidden assumption that it is false. But, this is not ALWAYS the case.

    People always and without exception apply time saving heuristic frameworks when evaluating statements, and this usually means omitting as ‘understood’ certain key assumptions. A good speaker will take care to select a minimum of those details most essential to his audience’s understanding, without overtaxing their attention or insulting their intelligence. However, if your audience are a bunch of dumb*sses, it’s almost impossible to accomodate each and every one of their intellectual failings.

    In my experience, this is why libertarians often think all smart people are liars. If the smart person’s statement isn’t as ridiculously grotesque as the libertarian’s misunderstanding, the libertarian will assume the smart person is a liar–adding unnecessary levels of complexity to the discussion.

    • There aren’t any smart Libertarians? You seriously think that?

      • Jin The Ninja | Dec 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

        not any on the right.

      • Liam_McGonagle | Dec 12, 2012 at 9:44 am |

        I have only heard a libertarian make a persuasive argument once in my entire life, and it was NOT on the intellectual merits.

        • I guess I feel that assuming that the only reason people disagree with me is because they are idiots and that I hold the only position a reasonable person would have-is sentiment that can lead to delusion. You know like Narcissism.

          • Liam_McGonagle | Dec 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |

            Nice straw man. Create a nonexistent situation out of whole cloth and try to present it as a meaningful illustration of a factual circumstance.

            Your assignment: write, in three paragraphs or less, a summary of the role of the M3 monetary aggregate in the economy, including descriptions of its creation, regulation, and circulation.

            Then, I have complete faith, you will have produced a very tangible example of how libertarians are totally ignorant of and misunderstand even the most basic aspects of public policy issues they “attempt” to address.

            The problem with knowledge asymmetries is that only one side of the equation is qualified to pass judgment upon the other.

  2. Best way to lie is to say as little as possible and let others fill in the details for you.

  3. BuzzCoastin | Dec 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

    the thing called truth has never been more than a consensus
    literate minds have elevated the concept of truth to an absolute
    now that literacy has disappeared
    so has truth
    at best today, we have a manipulated consensus on what “reality” is

    “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons. ”
    George W. Bush , September 12, 2002
    BUSH: “Now, look, I — part of the reason we went into Iraq was — the main reason we went into Iraq at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn’t, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction…” August 21, 2006

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