Become a Better Liar in Just 2:20


For those who practice the dark arts of deception, you may want to check out the video above, if you haven't already. It contains a tip about how to tell a convincing whopper, and the clue is "urine."

For those who are wary of being lied to, you may be interested to know that it's not your fault if you're the occasional sucker. We default to something called the truth bias; that is, we want to believe we're being told the truth. Also, it's very hard to suss out a lie from the truth since most indicators are so nuanced, and human behavior is variable anyway.

Which is either comforting or unsettling depending on how you view the following statistics about the frequency of lying:

Give us 10 minutes and most of us will lie. According to a 2002 University of Massachusetts study 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies.

We tell two important lies a day. Researcher Richard Wiseman asked volunteers "to keep a detailed diary of every conversation that they had and all the lies they told over a two-week period." He found that the majority of people tell about two important lies a day. 

Kids are lying machines. By age 4, 90 percent of our little angels have the chops to tell a lie. And that's a good thing. It means their brains are right on track, neurologically and socially. According to the authors of "NutureShock," a 4 year old will tell a lie about every two hours and a 6 year old every 90 minutes. And if "lying has become a successful strategy for handling difficult social situations, she'll stick with it. About one-third of kids do – and if they're still lying at seven, then it seems likely to continue. They're hooked."

What's surprising about all this lying is that we take the time and energy resources to do it in the first place. Telling an untruth takes self-control. But as I discuss in the video, there's a way to hack that.