Psychologist discovers intricacies about lying
How you remember a lie may be impacted profoundly by how you lie, according to a new study. The study examines two kinds of lies — false descriptions and false denials — and the different cognitive machinery that we use to record and retrieve them.
Sep. 4, 2013 — What happens when you tell a lie? Set aside your ethical concerns for a moment — after all, lying is a habit we practice with astonishing dexterity and frequency, whether we realize it or not. What goes on in your brain when you willfully deceive someone? And what happens later, when you attempt to access the memory of your deceit? How you remember a lie may be impacted profoundly by how you lie, according to a new study by LSU Associate Professor Sean Lane and former graduate student Kathleen Vieria. The study, accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Research and Memory Cognition, examines two kinds of lies — false descriptions and false denials — and the different cognitive machinery that we use to record and retrieve them.False descriptions are deliberate flights of the imagination — details and descriptions that we invent for something that didn’t happen. As it turned out, these lies were far easier for Lane’s test subjects to remember.Lane explained that false descriptions remain more accessible and more durable in our memories because they tax our cognitive power.”If I’m going to lie to you about something that didn’t happen, I’m going to have to keep a lot of different constraints in mind,” Lane said.Liars must remember what they say, and also monitor how plausible they seem, the depth of detail they offer, even how confident they appear to the listener. And if the listener doesn’t seem to be buying it, they must adapt the story accordingly.”As the constructive process lays down records of our details and descriptions, it also lays down information about the process of construction,” Lane said.In short, false descriptions take work. We remember them well precisely because of the effort required to make them up. …
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