Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is or will your Member of Parliament be a Pinocchio?

Good Day Readers:

Kelowna, British Columbia  psychologists Michael Woodworth and Stephen Porter train judges, police, lawyers, psychologists and even the FBI in the art of spotting lies. “We’re trying to give professionals such as police a tool box of valid techniques for spotting high-stakes lies,” Mr. Porter says. “We’re giving an edge to the lie-catchers.” Reporter Paul Luke shares eight things you should know about the UBC profs’ work.

1. Deception is a universal practice. Life is a dance of deception, much of it consisting of “white” or altruistic lies designed to spare other people’s feelings, Messrs. Porter and Woodworth say. “We don’t know of anybody who doesn’t use deception. It’s a normal part of human social interaction,” Mr. Porter says. “We’re all going to use some level of deception through our lives and there’s nothing unhealthy about it. There are shades of grey that go all the way up to the full-on black.”

2. Deception is an evolutionary adaptation. It can enable people to become successful in acquiring resources and passing their genes through social relationships. “Lying on your online dating profile can lead to more mating opportunities,” Mr. Porter says. On the flip side, you could become Bernie Madoff, the U.S. investment adviser sentenced to 150 years in prison for his Ponzi scheme. “Going to prison or being ostracized by your social group is not evolutionarily advantageous,” Mr. Porter notes.

3. People, on average, lie twice daily. At the same time, humans have what Mr. Porter calls “a truth bias.” We generally assume others are telling the truth — unless given reason to think otherwise.


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