We seem to lie more than we thought, and you don’t have to be a compulsive liar to do that. According to Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception , people tend to lie between 10 and 200 times a day , because we only tell parts of the truth that are considered socially acceptable or phrases that people want to hear.

Why are we like this? Why do we have such an easy trigger when it comes to telling someone a milonga? The truth is that many factors come into play when explaining why we lie so often.

We lie between 10 and 200 times a day

Robert Feldman, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, explains in his book The liar in your life , that we lied two or three times in a first 10-minute conversation with a new acquaintance . The cause? Lies are an automatic defence mechanism that is activated when someone feels their self-esteem is threatened.

How do you know if you are being lied to by WhatsApp?

In the article ‘The Pinocchio Effect’ we talked about thermography , a technique that detects body temperature, and can be useful to reveal that we are lying. We might think that a liar is caught sooner than a cripple, but according to researchers from Brigham Young University in the United States, human beings are very bad at detecting lies . In a face-to-face interaction, we only realise that another person is deceiving us 54% to 56% of the time (and that we can observe the non-verbal messages, the tone of his voice, the movement of his hands, the gestures or the look of the person we are talking to).

Although when talking through WhatsApp the chances of catching a liar decrease, the same study states that it is possible to recognize a liar by several indicators: the liar through WhatsApp takes longer to respond , he edits more while writing (deleting and rewriting) and his messages are shorter than usual. From now on you can take this into account, but beware, it is also not good to fall into the paranoia of thinking that everyone wants to cheat you.

Experiment: How to detect when we are being lied to by WhatsApp

The experiment consisted of the participants, university students, not only having to quickly answer dozens of random questions asked by their computer; they also had to lie on at least half of the answers given. “Digital conversations are an area that encourages deception because people can hide and make their messages seem credible,” explains Tom Meservy , professor of Information Systems and author of the study collected by the journal ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems .

False answers are written “slower”

In addition, Meservi comments: “it was found that it takes 10% longer to write answers when they are false, as they are edited many more times and, almost always, are shorter than usual”.