Have you ever been in a situation where you had to lie simply because nobody would believe the truth? Like that one time you got home early from a party, but you told your parents you reached at 3 am--because they wouldn't believe you anyway. Well, it looks like you're not the only one. Recent research suggests that people lie through their teeth to seem honest in front of other people--especially their colleagues. Who would have thought?
According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, conducted by a team of scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles, people lie to their own disadvantage, just in order to be imaged as an honest person.
The researchers studied the patterns of 100 working adults in the United States. The scenerio put in front of the respondents was: You drive frequently for work and can be compensated for up to 400 miles per month. You also know that the people you work with typically drive 280 to 320 miles each month.
The question asked from the respondents was: How much distance would they claim in their expense report? And guess what their answers were! They basically lied. As per the results, 12% of the people lied about the distance they drove, giving an average answer of 384 miles when in reality, they drove 400 miles. Basically, people lied about their mileage, even though they would lose money they were owed. Now, the question is, why would one do that?
According to Choshen-Hillel, senior lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the reason why people lied was because others would judge them negatively for reporting extreme outcomes.