The more you practice a lie, the better you get at it, say the results of a new study.
Published Nov. 12 in the journal Frontiers in Cognitive Science, the study found that, after 20 minutes of practicing their cover story, liars could respond just as quickly and easily to lies as to the truth. Moreover, they were no more likely to slip-up on falsehoods than on the truth.
“After a short time of training, people can be very efficient at lying,” said Xiaoqing Hu, a study co-author and psychology doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. “The difference between lying and being honest has been eliminated after the training.”
Though people lie for myriad reasons, it’s no easy task. Lying takes a lot of brainpower because it requires holding contradictory information in mind (the truth and the lie), while inhibiting the urge to tell the truth. Children are terrible liars and only improve as they mature. And several studies have found that people take longer to tell a lie than to tell the truth.
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