Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Damned lies

A few years ago I carried out a national survey into lying, focusing on adults. Only 8% of respondents claimed never to have lied.
The amazing thing about that statistic is how the writer, Richard Wiseman, uses the word "only". Eight percent is a huge number of people to have claimed never to have lied -- almost all of them are liars, obviously. The findings go on:
Other work has invited people to keep a detailed diary of every conversation that they have, and of all of the lies that they tell, over a two-week period. The results suggest that most people tell about two important lies each day, that a third of conversations involve some form of deception, that four in five lies remain undetected, that more than 80% of people have lied to secure a job, and that more than 60% of the population have cheated on their partners at least once.
From The Guardian back in April, dug out of SG archives. Want to find out if you're a good liar? Professor Wiseman explains how to check. No cheating, mind.