The truth about lying

Cognition. 2015 May;138:161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Mar 13.


The standard view in social science and philosophy is that lying does not require the liar's assertion to be false, only that the liar believes it to be false. We conducted three experiments to test whether lying requires falsity. Overall, the results suggest that it does. We discuss some implications for social scientists working on social judgments, research on lie detection, and public moral discourse.

Keywords: Deception; Lying; Social cognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Culture*
  • Deception*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Lie Detection
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morals
  • Social Perception
  • Young Adult