Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Truth About Liars

Link of the day - Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

The truth is ... we are all liars.

Scientists say that by the age of four we have all learned to lie. We lie to protect ourselves and others. We lie to protect others' feelings, and to get what we want and need. Most of us fib in one of every four conversations that last more than ten minutes. One study showed that university students lie to their mothers fifty percent of the time. We lie in one-third of our conversations with our romantic partners, and we tell the most serious lies to the people we care about the most.

The Truth About Liars reveals the only certain thing we know about lying: everyone does it, and we can't easily detect it.

In this entertaining documentary, world class specialists share their findings and theories about the art of the untruth including: Paul Ekman, developer of the Micro Expression Training Tool and author of Telling Lies, and Why Kids Lie; Jeff Hancock, a Cornell University professor who explores the role deception plays within the internet; Stephen Porter, a specialist in crime and deception as the director of the forensic certificate program at Dalhousie University; and David Livingstone Smith, a philosopher dedicated to analyzing the link between nature and deception and co-founder of the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology.

From the common little white lie to promises made by those governing us, scientists tell us that lying is part of our daily lives. Lying is integral to our survival, and the ability to lie is fundamental to how far we succeed in our work, romance, and everyday life. Featuring the latest science, psychology, and technology, this surprising documentary also exposes our greatest weakness: our ability to sort the lies from the truth remains in the dark ages.

The very unique relationship politicians have with the truth is also examined by The Truth About Liars using the Watergate crisis, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the Iraq war.

More on the subject

Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit

Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind

The Truth About Lying