How do I lie without getting caught

Study of Dishonesty Men lie more often than women

Overall, scientists estimate that people lie up to 200 times a day: for a variety of reasons. Often out of courtesy and diplomacy, but also because they want to gain advantages.

But which people are most likely to lie?

Do nuns lie more often than prison inmates? Are you more likely to lie online or on the phone? Are you more likely to lie when you expect more money? There are hundreds of studies on lies around the world. But since their results are often not conclusive and sometimes even contradicting, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the “Technion - Israel Institute of Technology” have now summarized all available studies on lying: that was 565 studies with more than 44,000 subjects. This overarching meta-study was published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

The tendency towards dishonesty actually depends on age and gender

According to the mega data analysis, a total of 42 percent of all men and 38 percent of all women lied. This confirms the assumption that men lie more than women - even if the difference is only small. In addition, younger people lie more often than older people. While the probability that someone will lie is around 47 percent for a 20-year-old, it is only 36 percent for a 60-year-old.

A wide variety of study designs explore the tendency to lie

Studies from psychology and economics were used for the meta-analysis. The studies used very different experiments, such as a coin tossing game. The participants toss a coin and give the result on a computer. With heads you get money, with numbers you get nothing.

Lying also depends on personality and environmental factors

Other studies looked at dishonesty about one's own skills - such as whether a math puzzle was solved correctly. The researchers were able to show that differences in the experimental setup influence the behavior of the test subjects. The scientists come to the conclusion that dishonesty is not just a characteristic of a person, but is also closely related to environmental conditions.

Courage to take risks or social norms

Philipp Gerlach, scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and first author of the study, suspects that older people are usually more careful that social rules and norms are adhered to. But it could also be that younger people grow up in a world of alternative facts, in which the truth is degraded to mere opinion.

There is always a risk of getting caught when lying. Since men are generally considered to be more willing to take risks, according to Gerlach, this could also be the explanation for the fact that they are more likely to run the risk of being caught lying than women.
There is, however, an alternative explanation: On average, women are more socially minded than men. Studies also show that women shy away from lying when others are suffering from the negative consequences of their lies.

Why are we lying anyway?

There is speculation that at least part of human intelligence is due to our lying. We humans have developed the ability of language to communicate quickly and efficiently. But language always carries the risk of someone telling the untruth. There are, according to Philipp Gerlach, considerations that at least part of our intelligence can be traced back to the fact that in our development we have gone through a constant race between recognizing lies and recognizing lies.

Do immoral people lie more often?

Studies at least show that fairer and more humble people are less likely to lie. However, that does not mean that lying is a character trait that is stable across situations. The new meta-study also shows that lying depends heavily on the respective situation.