How To Be A Better Liar
Good news. This year, there’s no need to make New Year’s resolutions, we can just say we did, and we can say we kept them. All we have to do in become better liars, an accomplishment that is entirely within our grasp, according to researchers at Northwestern University. The key to near-perfect lying? Prepare your lies with care; and say them quickly, with no hesitation. A Northwestern news release reports that 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. The scientists, who set out to learn whether lying can be trained to be more automatic and less task demanding, found that instruction alone significantly reduced reaction times associated with participants’ deceptive responses. They used a control group — in which participants were told to speed up their lies and make fewer errors, but were not given time to prepare their lies — and a training group, which received training in how to speed up their deceptive responses and were given time to prepare their lies. In the training group that practiced their lies, the differences between deceptive and truthful responses were completely eliminated. The bottom line: the researchers declared that with a certain amount of training and instruction, the art of deception can be perfected. But should we believe them?