The human facial expressions, the eyes, pitch of the voice, and body language reveal much. Human beings have behavior patterns and anything else that makes them unique. When these contradict the uniqueness of a person, something has obviously changed. It could be good or bad, depending on the situation.
We all lie at one point or another, whether they’re white lies or other types. A lie is a lie. I ask myself, “What is the point of lying or self-deception?” There are “normal liars” and super liars.
When I think about super liars, it reminds me of an uncle who likes to tell lies about relatives or friends “dying.” Most of the time, we have believed him because we haven’t seen those people in over a decade. Then imagine seeing those “deceased” people in some random place, “Hallelujah, a miracle!” Not quite. When I was a kid, I used to wonder why he lied so much. Now as an adult, (a Guatemalan saying) “I don’t believe the air he breathes.”
I saw an interesting video on human behavior and morality. Behavioral scientists conducted a study case on high school students—after a Bible study! The subjects (or students) play a game (similar to basketball), and they keep track of their own score “without supervision.” The people conducting the case study promised money in return depending on their score. There were of course cameras for surveillance. Very amusing! 80% of the subjects lied. Some lied up to 280%!
Then they tried the same experiment with a different group, except this time they asked students to sign an honor code, which is called “The Moral Wake-Up Call.” Despite being on their own, the honor code reminded students to be honest. The baffling numbers changed. This time 80% of the subjects told the truth. The star of the basketball team, full of shame, admitted to scoring low and received only six dollars.
The subjects for the second experiment “traded money for morality, willingly.” What changed? According to the scientists, at times, people are in a moral slumber, “moral lapses aren’t conscious but mindless. Our conscious is asleep…it’s better to assume they aren’t aware.” So we need a reminder, or a “wake-up call” about being honest, preferably without judgment.
The “ability to lie and to detect a lie became pretty important to early humans because lying is actually not very easy for a brain to do.” Our society became sophisticated at lying but also at spotting bad liars. What helped the early humans with this issue of deception? Religion and government laws discouraged/punished lying and rewarded truthfulness—because if we lived in a world of complete lies, “we would live in anarchy.”
Some researchers believe that we start lying as early as six months, and by the time we’re in college, we lie even more. When we’re full grown adults, we get so good at lying, we lie to ourselves. For instance, pathological liars wholeheartedly believe their own lies, and their brain is a bit different than those of others. They have issues holding on to solid relationships because, well, nobody likes to be lied to, and people eventually pick up on dishonesty.
I’m a big fan of human behavior, and I like to do research on it as a hobby. It’s fun to me because it helps me create interesting characters. Writer’s life, right?
Do you think that it’s a good idea to give someone a “moral wake-up call” as the behavioral scientists suggest?”
What if we are the ones who need the “moral wake-up call?” How would you feel if someone, without judgment, would point out that you are in a moral slumber? Would you deny it? Would you be thankful? Would you be shocked?: “What in heaven’s name, me a liar?”
Certainly, I shall ponder on these questions myself. Leave your comments below. I will also post the videos below. Have a great week!
©Ana P. Rose & Anaprose 2017.