Hey!, Wanna See Some Sin?

"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgressions and . . . their sins." Isa. 58:1

22. Lies:

22.2. How often do we lie to others?

Most people lie to others once or twice a day and deceive about 30 people per week.
The average is 7 times per hour if you count all the times people lie to themselves.

We lie in 30 to 38% of all our interactions.
College students lie in 50% of conversations with their mothers.
- 10,000,000 people lie to the IRS each year.
- 80% of us lie on our resumes.
- 70% of all doctors lie to insurance companies.
- 100% of dating couples surveyed lied to each other in about a third of their conversations.
- 20% - 30% of middle managers surveyed had written fraudulent internal reports.
- 95% of participating college students surveyed were willing to tell at least one lie to a potential employer to win a job, and 41% had already done so.
We are lied to about 200 times each day.

"One recent study found that most people lie once or twice a day, and over the course of a week deceive about 30 of the people they interact with personally.(1) The same study found that college students lie to their mothers in one out of every two conversations – dating couples lie to each other in about a third of their conversations. And there’s no reason to think lying is less common in business than in personal relationships. A consultant for some of America’s largest public corporations says his polls reveal that 20% - 30% of middle managers had written fraudulent internal reports.(2) A recent survey found that more than 95% of participating college students were willing to tell at least one lie to a potential employer to win a job, and that 41% had already done so.(3)"

1. The study was conducted by Dr. Bella DePaulo, described in Allison Kornet, "The Truth about Lying," Psychology Today, Vol. 30 Issue 3 (May/June 1997), p. 53.
2. Kenneth Labich, "The New Crisis in Business Ethics," Fortune Vol. 125 No. 8 (April 20, 1992).
3. Valerie Frazee, "Students Tell Tales to Win Jobs," Personnel Journal Vol. 75 No. 10 (October 1, 1996).

Samuel V. Bruton
Asst. Professor, Dept of Philosophy and Religion
University of Southern Mississippi.
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~sbruton/Lying.html   (emphasis ours)


"In one experiment, the diaries kept showed that the student participants lied in 77 per cent of their conversations with strangers, 48 per cent with acquaintances and 28 per cent with good friends."

[Summarised from an article by Cherry Norton, entitled 'Liars unmasked by the way they speak', in the Sunday Times and from an item by Nigel Hawkes, entitled 'Truth to tell, liars are not easy to spot', in the Times (Sept 8th '97).]


"Dr. Charles Ford, author of "Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!", says that the average Joe lies seven times an hour -- if you count all the times people lie to themselves. Dr. Ford is a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham."
http://www.nlag.net/Sermons/Transcripts/mjdeadmendont.htm    (emphasis ours)

In one survey, all the participants admitted lying in 30 to 38% of all their interactions with others including relatives. Of those who admitted lying, 70% said they would do it again.

"Working with her department colleagues, University Psychology Prof. Bella M. Depaulo asked 77 undergraduate students and 70 community members to record all the social exchanges and conversations in which they took part. She asked the participants to record the number of lies they told in the course of one week.
In Depaulo's studies published in 1996 and 1998, college students lied in 38 percent of their interactions, while community members lied 30 percent of the time. In addition, 70 percent of the people who lied said they would lie again given the same circumstances.

Depaulo and her colleagues found that in most cases the closer a person is to someone, the less likely they are to lie to them. But Depaulo found that college students defied this principal when it came to relationships with their mothers. In the study, students reported telling lies in one out of every two conversations they had with their mothers.
"Even after people went through the test they still said they thought they lied less than other people," she said.
She said students told her they experienced many awkward situations when they tried to go through a whole day without telling a single lie. Depaulo and her colleagues found that in most cases the closer a person is to someone, the less likely they are to lie to them.

"Lying: Our favorite national pastime", By Josh King

Notice that in the survey above, everyone lied and they admitted lying in 30-38% of their interactions.

"Participants were also asked to keep track of their own reactions to their lies and to record the extent to which they felt guilty. The results revealed that all participants lied. Their lies were self-serving and were employed either to enhance the liar's status or protect him from embarrassment, disapproval or conflict. Only one out of four lies was told to protect someone else's feelings. Her studies revealed that socially skillful people told way more lies than people who were socially unskilled."

"And now, the lying game.: From Clinton to Archer, the combination of charm and deceit is powerful."
by David Graham, Life Writer, Toronto Star, July 23, 2001
http://www.earthtym.net/ref-charismatic.htm    (emphasis ours)

Notice that 75% of all lies are for admittedly selfish purposes with 25% told for allegedly unselfish purposes. As discussed elsewhere in this series of articles, our claim to lie for the benefit of others is another lie we tell ourselves.

"In The Day America Told the Truth it is related that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses."

"Does God Justify Deception?", by Dan Vess


"According to the U.S. government, more than 10 million working Americans are less than completely honest and revealing when they file their tax returns. ["to the tune of a $200 billion annual loss to the government," according to another reference to the same story.](1)
Up to 35 percent of resumes contain lies, according to one company which screens applications for employers.
Seventy percent of doctors believe it’s ethical to deceive health insurance companies when they submit bills.
Attorneys, in most cases, aren’t supposed to present the truth; their job is to advance their client’s cases.
Fortune magazine published a . . . piece . . . titled the "The Art of Lying: Can It Be a Good Thing?" To win at business, you need to practice gaming ethics, which allows for tactics such as bluffing and artful negotiating that would be considered dishonest anywhere else."

[Notice that when it is considered necessary for success, it is no longer called lying, but "gaming ethics", "bluffing", and "artful negotiating".]

". . . Caroline Keating, a Colgate University psychology professor who has spent 18 years studying liars. For those honest folk among us there is solace. Most liars and cheaters do get their comeuppance, Keating maintains. "Eventually deception is a dead end," she says. "People begin to believe their own manipulations and deceptions. And that can lead them to have very poor judgments."

Source: "How to deal with deception: Everybody tells fibs, but outright lying is a dead-end road in business."By Peter Korn, http://www.news.onvia.com/x7683.xml (Emphasis ours.)

Footnote: (1) http://www.uc.edu/news/ebriefs/lie.htm

200 lies every day:

"Human beings--who, according to psychologist Gerald Jellison of the University of South California, are lied to about 200 times a day, roughly one untruth every five minutes--often deceive for exactly the same reasons: to save their own skins or to get something they can't get by other means."

"How To Spot A Liar" By James Geary, London
Time Europe, March 13, 2000, Vol. 155 No. 10
http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2000/313/lies.html      (emphasis ours)