Why do humans lie?

Sometimes we need to bend the truth to get what we want.

18th November 2017
Why do humans lie? © Getty

Asked by: Sulaymaan Khan, London

Most people lie occasionally, although there are individual differences in how often lies are told. Lying is a part of normal child development, emerging early in life. Research published in 2016 by Prof Timothy Levine, a communications expert, investigated reasons for lying. Most lies were told for selfish reasons, such as covering up a personal transgression or gaining an economic advantage. Lies were also told to protect the feelings of others and to maintain social politeness. Overall, it seems that lies occur when the truth poses an obstacle that someone wants to overcome.

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