Throughout the past couple weeks, our class discussed the prevalence of lying and deception through a psychological lens. We reviewed documents and content from various sources such as Ariely’s presentation and writing “The (Honest) Truth About Lying” which discussed testing the Simple Model of Rational Crime (SMORC) which means that we seek out our own advantages to navigate the world and weigh out our costs versus benefits to make our decisions.
We also looked at Serota and Levine’s writing on “A Few Prolific Liars” which reports about the frequency of lies. The research and reanalysis of previous studies concludes that most people practice honesty and the majority of lies are only told by a few prolific liars. In contrast to this piece of writing, Pamela Myers presented on a TED talk revealing that we are in a deception epidemic and that we need certain skills do discern the lies that take place in the media, politics, and our everyday life. Compared to Serota and Levine’s knowledge of deception frequency, I would agree more with Pamela Myers presentation because even though lying is an act that is looked down upon, many individuals can still preach fallacy unintentionally.
Tim Coles piece of writing discusses lying and deception not only through the lens of psychology but also from an interpersonal perspective as well. The goal of his research was to explore deceit in relationships by examining the three underlying explanations of why we deceive our loved ones such as reciprocity, fear of punishment, and Intimacy needs.
Similar to Coles study, DePaulo conducted research on interpersonal relationships but in everyday interactions. His method was to have a group of undergraduates to record the frequency of lies they told with a specific analysis of each lie (Duration, Success, Modality, etc). The results of this experiment was that an average college student lies one out of every three social interactions but the students claimed after this that they thought they lied less than expected.
Overall, this Unit of lying and deception seen through a psychological lens opened my eyes to compelling knowledge/data that has made me more aware of the prevalence of deception through others and myself. Out of all the lenses, I didn’t expect to gain much insight from psychology but this unit has made me adjust my moral code and marginalize those who lie profusely.