Dec 28, 2006

Lying Is Easier When No One Is Watching

It comes as no surprise that our behavior changes when other people are watching us. For instance, people laugh louder when watching TV with others than they do when watching TV by themselves.

And by simply placing a pair of eyes on a computer screen, people act more cooperatively. People are more generous and people are more likely to donate money when they feel they are being watched - even if it is by a fake pair of eyes.

And when it comes to lying, a new survey released today shows that people prefer telling lies when no one can see them doing it. People prefer to tell lies over the phone, through a text message, or over e-mail because they feel a lot less guilty about lying when it is not done face-to-face. Along the same line, the BBC also reports that people prefer to lie over e-mail at work.

The moral of the story? People feel more comfortable behaving badly, even lying to loved ones, when no one is looking over their shoulder. Our behavior, to a certain extent, is influenced by whether we think we are being observed.

Will technology, which physically separates us from each other, ultimately make lying more common? It seems so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband went through a dark depression due to money issues. (I was not aware, he hid it well) and eventually slipped in to disassociation (DID) at which time he got involved in an affair. He could literally toggle back and forth and had no idea he was doing it. I discovered the affair and and confronted him and he slipped into the other personality right in front of my eyes. It was horrifying. I did not recognize him as the person I married 10 years before. After EMDR treatment, he discovered a terrible memory he had buried from his early 20's... Sexual abuse by the Father of the woman he had the recent affair with. Through this man's death, my husband was left to handle this man's estate. the daughter had been disowned. She came after my husband. OMG, this has been a most challenging set of circumstances for me as his wife, friend and lover. I am also seeking EMDR treatment for trauma. I am still in the marriage but my heart is heavy and numb. I try to understand the other side...and am seeking my way back to a healthy relationship with him. Two broken hearts, mine and his. He claims he never stopped loving me and this had nothing to do with me. How can I ever believe this in my heart? The person trying to help me heal is the same person who betrayed me.