Some Curious Facts About Lies

Although it may be hard to believe, human beings are big fans of lies and fiction. In fact, on many occasions, we prefer a comfortable falsehood to a horrible truth. Here are some more curious facts about lies.
Some Curious Facts About Lies
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 22 February, 2023

It could be said that no human being has ever escaped a lie. Indeed, we all lie occasionally. Likewise, we’ve all been deceived. The ability to lie is believed to be an evolutionarily acquired ability. In fact, our lives can depend on pretense, camouflage, and other associated skills.

According to research conducted in 2018, people are capable of detecting up to 54 percent of lies. Moreover, if the individual is known to be a liar and particular attention is paid to them, the percentage increases. In general, women are more skilled at detecting lies, as they tend to better recognize human emotions.

Another curious fact about lying is that the famous lie detectors never really work one hundred percent. While they’re usually effective with the average person, it’s possible for individuals to train themselves to trick the device and succeed. Let’s take a look at some other curious facts about lies.

The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

-Adolf Hitler-

Man crossing his fingers

Some curious facts about lies

Many think that young children don’t know how to lie, but this isn’t so. In fact, it’s estimated that a human being begins to lie around the age of two. At first, the little ones fantasize about reality, but they soon learn that certain lies can bring them benefits.

Psychologists have found that it’s easier to lie to yourself than to others. An ordinary person rarely tests the validity of their own ideas or beliefs. As a rule, they devote themselves to justifying them instead. This is one of the reasons why people often end up believing a lie they told to others.

It’s believed that the average person lies between one and ten times a day. This means that around 365 lies are told per year and that a 20-year-old person will have told around 7,300 lies in their life. Obviously, in frequent liars, this figure could be double or even triple.

Lies and the body

The traces of lies remain in the body. In fact, available evidence supports the idea that when an individual lies, the Pinocchio effect occurs. It consists of the tip of the nose getting a little redder. It’s also common for there to be some itching. That’s why when someone tells lies, they often touch their nose.

There’s also a change in the temperature of the face when someone lies. It’s most noticeable in the inner corner of the eye. Of course, you’d have to touch them to notice it though. On the other hand, there’s another more obvious sign of lying: touching the neck as if it were itchy.

If you ask a question whose answer is yes or no, it’s possible to detect if a negative answer is true or false. People tend to shake their heads when they’re saying no. If they start that movement on the left, you can believe them.

However, if the head-shaking starts on the right, they’re probably lying. This is because the brain processes the gesture in direct relation to the hemisphere to which it corresponds. The left remembers while the right creates.

Man lying to his partner, representing facts about lies.

More curious facts about lies

Science has discovered that the brains of those who frequently lie are different from those of sincere people. A study conducted in 2018 and published in The British Journal of Psychiatry, found that compulsive liars have more white than gray matter in the frontal lobe of the brain.

It’s often thought that it’s easier to deceive an honest person than an outright liar. But, in reality, the opposite occurs. As such, the more sincere someone is, the greater their ability to detect falsehoods in others. In contrast, liars often have a weak perception of what’s true and false, so they can be more easily deceived.

Finally, it must be said that lying is one of the fundamental weapons used in war. Indeed, there’s a reason why it’s said that the first victim of an armed confrontation is the truth. That’s why, every time you read information about a conflicting side, doubt at least half of what they tell you.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lloyd, E. P., Summers, K. M., Hugenberg, K., & McConnell, A. R. (2018). Revisiting perceiver and target gender effects in deception detection. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 42, 427-440.
  • Yang, Y., Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., Lacasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2005). Prefrontal white matter in pathological liars. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 187(4), 320-325.
  • Catalán, M. (2005). Antropología de la mentira (Vol. 2). Del Taller de Mario Muchnik.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.