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 Why people lie

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تاريخ التسجيل : 24/09/2008

مُساهمةموضوع: Why people lie   الأربعاء نوفمبر 05, 2008 9:17 pm

Why people lie
By Mark Kendall
The Press-Enterprise
So many reasons to lie:
For the money.
To get away from a mean boss.
To escape embarrassment.
For a good laugh.
To stay out of jail.


Avoiding punishment is the most common reason, says Paul Ekman, a University of California, San Francisco, psychiatry professor who has studied lying for three decades. He's talking about serious lies -- the kind that could get you in big trouble -- not the little, white your-haircut-looks-great lies.


Remember Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who in
1994strapped her two boys into the car and sent them into a lake to drown. She tried to stay out of trouble by going on TV, saying her sons were kidnapped and pleading for their safe return.


The flip side of why people lie is for gain: money, power, approval.


Pretty simple so far. Other motivations, though, are tougher to understand. Why would these successful people concoct phony stories about their pasts?


Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court in San Jose had his hopes for a promotion sunk after he admitted last year to making up the story of his brother being shot dead by white racists as he watched.



Sometimes people seem to have it all together "and yet underneath they really do suffer from self-esteem problems," says Charles Ford, a psychiatry professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and author of "Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit."


"People often lie about things trying to feel better about themselves," Ford says.


these lies can start in private, among friends, then slip out of the liar's control, says Leonard Saxe, a psychologist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., who studies lying. "They tell a lie about their past perhaps in private -- the equivalent of locker-room boasting -- and they never expect it to be made public."



Reporter Janet Cooke lied on her resume when she applied to the Washington Post and on a resume she submitted to the Pulitzer Prize committee. This was discovered only after she had won a 1981 Pulitzer for her story about an 8-year-old heroin addict. That led to unmasking an even bigger lie: She had faked the winning story.


Sometimes a liar goes unchallenged because the lie serves someone else's purpose.
why people decide to lie. The liar's own explanation, when available, is suspect.
"We lie to cover lies," Ford says

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Why people lie
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