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Being Honest About Dishonesty: Correlating Self-Reports and Actual Lying

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Abstract

Does everybody lie? A dominant view is that lying is part of everyday social interaction. Recent research, however, has claimed, that robust individual differences exist, with most people reporting that they do not lie, and only a small minority reporting very frequent lying. In this study, we found most people to subjectively report little or no lying. Importantly, we found self-reports of frequent lying to positively correlate with real-life cheating and psychopathic tendencies. Our findings question whether lying is normative and common among most people, and instead suggest that most people are honest most of the time and that a small minority lies frequently.

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