Why Do We Lie?
Lying is complicated. Psychologists and sociologists have been studying the subject for years. Now, new research indicates that biology may play a role in why we lie.
According to the study, when a person lies for personal gain, an area of the brain called the amygdala produces feelings of guilt that limit how limits how far we’ll take that lie. But that negative feeling fades as the lie continues, making lying easier.
The study results, which were published in Nature Neuroscience, show that the more a person lies, the less of an emotional response to lying their brain produces. According to researchers, the brain “adjusts” to lying and it can become a habit. For most people, risks—such as a fear of punishment, getting caught in a lie, or feeling bad—are usually enough to keep the brain, and specifically the amygdala, engaged enough to promote honesty.
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