A Snowball Effect: How Our Brains Become Desensitized To Feeling Bad About Lying
What starts as a little fib can often become a whopper of a lie, and scientists wanted to know why.
Brain Study Shows Why Lying Becomes Easier The More You Do It
When people tell small fibs, she and her colleagues reported on Monday in Nature Neuroscience, their brain becomes desensitized to the emotional twinge that dishonesty usually causes. Lying becomes easier and telling ever-bigger self-serving whoppers becomes more likely, they found: that may be why nickel-and-diming on tax returns sometimes balloons into massive fraud, why spousal white lies become deeper secrets, and why scientific misconduct escalates from “losing” data to faking findings. Neuroscientists who have studied the neural basis for moral decisions and were not involved in this research generally praised it, but questioned how well it described the real world. (Begley, 10/24)
Los Angeles Times:
Neuroscientists Show How Tiny Fibs Snowball Into Big Lies
A little dishonesty goes a long way. Scientists who studied the brain activity of people who told small lies to benefit themselves found that these fibs appeared to pave the way to telling whoppers later. The findings, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, demonstrate how self-serving lies can escalate and offer a window into the processes in the brain at work. (Khan, 10/24)