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psychology_of_lying [2013/05/09 19:33]
nveldey
psychology_of_lying [2013/05/09 20:01] (current)
kbultman
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 Even though our morals say lying and deception is bad, those who lie still get ahead in life. It is those who are better at deception that get farther ahead than those who are not (1). Livingstone says there is a correlation between social popularity and deception skills. Those who are more deceptive can make themselves look better than others and attract more people who believe the lies. In order to deceive others though, we must be able to deceive ourselves so that we believe the lie as well. But what part of our brain makes the decision to to lie, and are we conscious of it? Livingstone suggests that cognition is separate from consciousness,​ and consciousness is a lesser part of cognition than previously thought. He presents a study by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet. Libet studied the motor cortex and the electrical tension that occurs when the brain is ready to initiate an action. He found that our unconscious begins to initiate an action just over a third of a second before we actually decide to act. This tells us that it is our unconscious makes the decision and our conscious mind takes credit for it. Livingstone connects this to deception in saying, " We are able to deceive ourselves by invoking the equivalent of a cognitive filter between unconscious cognition and conscious awareness. The filter preempts information before it reaches consciousness,​ preventing selected thoughts from proliferating along the neural pathways to awareness"​ (1).  Even though our morals say lying and deception is bad, those who lie still get ahead in life. It is those who are better at deception that get farther ahead than those who are not (1). Livingstone says there is a correlation between social popularity and deception skills. Those who are more deceptive can make themselves look better than others and attract more people who believe the lies. In order to deceive others though, we must be able to deceive ourselves so that we believe the lie as well. But what part of our brain makes the decision to to lie, and are we conscious of it? Livingstone suggests that cognition is separate from consciousness,​ and consciousness is a lesser part of cognition than previously thought. He presents a study by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet. Libet studied the motor cortex and the electrical tension that occurs when the brain is ready to initiate an action. He found that our unconscious begins to initiate an action just over a third of a second before we actually decide to act. This tells us that it is our unconscious makes the decision and our conscious mind takes credit for it. Livingstone connects this to deception in saying, " We are able to deceive ourselves by invoking the equivalent of a cognitive filter between unconscious cognition and conscious awareness. The filter preempts information before it reaches consciousness,​ preventing selected thoughts from proliferating along the neural pathways to awareness"​ (1). 
  
-But are all lies a bad thing? They are so much a part of society that most people don't think twice about lying. David Nyberg a visiting scholar at Bawdoin College said, "We humans are active, creative mammals who can represent what exists as if it did not, and what doesn'​t exist as if it did. Concealment,​ obliqueness,​ silence, outright lying-- all help to hold Nemesis at bay; all help us to abide too-large helpings of reality"​ (2). +But are all lies a bad thing? They are so much a part of society that most people don't think twice about lying. David Nyberg a visiting scholar at Bawdoin College said, "We humans are active, creative mammals who can represent what exists as if it did not, and what doesn'​t exist as if it did. Concealment,​ obliqueness,​ silence, outright lying-- all help to hold Nemesis at bay; all help us to abide too-large helpings of reality"​ (2). When a young child learns they can lie, there is a shift in the idea of power, and who holds that power. Robin Marantz Henig wrote in her article "​Looking for the Lie" that learning to lie is part of growing up. It is the development of theory of mind that allows us to learn to lie. This theory of mind is the concept of understanding what goes on in our head is different from what goes on in other people'​s heads
  
 In his article "The Creativity of Lying,"​ Jeffrey Walzyck reveals how lying can function as a way of solving social problems. The intention of a lie could be either benevolent or malevolent, but is often an intellectual method of adapting to a situation. People view lying in different ways. A painting of a fictional landscape, or a fantasy novel could be considered a lie, for instance, because it is a creative fabrication. The intent behind this "​lying"​ however is benevolent; that is, products such as the painting or novel are meant to bring understanding and happiness to others. In his article "The Creativity of Lying,"​ Jeffrey Walzyck reveals how lying can function as a way of solving social problems. The intention of a lie could be either benevolent or malevolent, but is often an intellectual method of adapting to a situation. People view lying in different ways. A painting of a fictional landscape, or a fantasy novel could be considered a lie, for instance, because it is a creative fabrication. The intent behind this "​lying"​ however is benevolent; that is, products such as the painting or novel are meant to bring understanding and happiness to others.