LIES

Lies involves some form of deception in terms of untruthful statements which are intended to deceive and  hence maintain a secret in order to protect someone’s feelings from getting hurt or to avoid punishment. Lying involves stating something one believes to be false intending it to be taken for the truth by someone else. It is generally used to refer to deception in oral or written communication but not other forms such as forgeries or disguises. True statements can also be considered lies if they are said with the underlying intent of deceiving. Lies can thus be devised through giving untrue statements or having the intension of being untruthful. (Atkinson L, R 1987, p.354),

Lies can be classified into various types such as; Barefaced lie which is one that is told in a situation whereby it is obvious to everyone concerned that it is a lie: lying by omission include deliberately omitting an important fact thus living someone with pre-existing misconceptions: white lies causes no conflict if it could be uncovered and it also offers some benefits the liar or hearer or both since they are told to avoid offending someone: noble lies on the other hand are the ones that cause disagreement if uncovered but they also offer some benefits to the liar and also assisting in having an orderly society: A lie to children is a form of euphemism used to make an adult subject acceptable to children: An emergency lie is a kind of white lie that is applied when the truth may not be told due to the harm it would cause to a third party: perjury involves making verifiable false statements on a matter that is under oath hence its an offense: bluffing involves deception that is not considered immoral since it happens in the context of a game hence consented to in advance: misleading involves statements that are not out rightly lies but meant to make someone believe in falsehood: exaggeration involves statements that are only correct to a certain degree: Jocose lies are ones that are meant to tease and are understood by all present parties, e.g., sarcasm: finally, bragging is the kind of lie that is told to build a reputation. (Atkinson L, R 1987, p.355),

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The capacity to lie occurs early and almost universally in human development. Children are noted to start lying convincingly at the age of about four and a half years. At an earlier age however, they cannot understand that someone else can hold a different view from theirs concerning a certain event. They just assume that, there is only one point of view and what they hold must be integrated in any given story. Through experience, young children learn that they can avoid punishment through lying though they may not have learnt the concept of telling believable statements. Children may also lack the moral understanding on the consequences of lies when they first learn how lying works. It is only by constantly watching the results of lies told by other people, that they can develop a proper understanding. (Borden S, K & Horowttz I, A 2001, p.74)

There are two alternative consequences of lies in that, the lies are either discovered or remain undiscovered. If a lie is discovered, it tends to discredit other statements that the speaker makes hence leading to social sanctions or legal one in case of perjury. It also undermines trust which acts as a binding agent for human relations since, once a person discovers that they have been lied to, they cannot predict the behavior of the other person anymore. A lie that is undiscovered also acts as a potential danger to the liar especially if it has earned them some unjust advantage. (Borden S, K & Horowttz I, A 2001, p.75)

It is possible to tell when someone is lying through observing their body language. When lying, physical expressions are often limited and stiff including few arm and hand movements. The person also avoids making eye contact and keeps touching their face, mouth, throat and scratching their nose or behind their ears. Emotional gestures and emotions are displayed at a pace that is not normal. The lying person often delays the display of emotion then stops suddenly. The timing between expressions and words is also off and the gestures do not match the verbal statements. (James C, M & Augustine J, D 1987, p. 99)

In interactions, a guilty person gets defensive and is uncomfortable facing the accuser which may force him to turn his head or body away. They may also unconsciously place objects between them and the accuser. Liars also tend to use the accuser’s words to answer a question or implying answers instead of answering something directly. They also tend to speak more than natural, giving unnecessary details to convince the other party, being monotonous, and speaking softly. People also tend to sweat more when they are lying. Liars may however keep eye contact in order to look believable but they tend to blink more often. These behaviors also need to be compared to the person’s normal behavior in order to determine whether they are lying. Some of the gestures such as eye contact may also be considered rude in some cultures hence people avoiding it thus may not be solely used to determine lies. (James C, M & Augustine J, D 1987, p.100)

REFERENCES

Atkinson L, R (1987), introduction to psychology: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN

            0155436821

Borden S, K & Horowttz I, A (2001) social psychology: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

            ISBN 0805835202

James C, M & Augustine J, D (1987) personality and interpersonal communication:

            Sage Publications. ISBN 0803926456

 

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