How do you deal with a habitual liar

Lying, deceiving and covering up

The best and safest disguise is still the sheer truth.
Nobody believes them!
Max Frisch

In psychology, it is assumed that lies are vital, because they serve to increase self-esteem and enable easier dealing with the past, present and future, or because they also make it easier to get along with other people. In the 1970s, the American psychologist John Frazer analyzed everyday conversations and put forward the still controversial thesis that people lie about two hundred times a day, although truth cannot be clearly defined in research on lies either. In everyday life, people usually lie for prosocial reasons or to save face, less often for antisocial intentions, because prosocial lies help to make the other person feel better. Only with the antisocial lies do you accept that they cause damage to the other person or to a third party. While there are people with a pathological tendency to tell untruth, they are seldom encountered. By the way: The only people who certainly do not lie because they are unable to do so are autistic, because they lack the awareness of social and emotional togetherness. The basic conflict of any lie is usually one Electoral situationbecause either you are honest and forego advantages or you lie in order to get more money, power or fame. That depends on both personal and environmental factors. However, the results of most studies are inconclusive, in some cases even contradicting, but overall, 42 percent of all men and 38 percent of all women lied in the experiments examined, so that the assumption that men lie more often than women could be confirmed, even if this difference is only slight. Younger people also lied more often than older people, with the likelihood of someone lying decreasing by 0.28 percentage points every year. While the frequency of lies for 20-year-olds is around 47 percent, it is only 36 percent for 60-year-olds (Gerlach, Teodorescu & Hertwig, 2019).

Last but not least, there are Self-lies, which make life bearable for some people, whereby these frauds are gradually integrated into the personality and it becomes increasingly difficult to define them as untruth from an objective position. The most important lies are used for self-protection (41%), i.e. to save yourself anger, 14% lie so that you do not have to deal with a conflict situation (self-protection), 8.5% lie out of fear, to be loved or to be appreciated not to lose, 6% lie to represent themselves better. Small lies or "selective information" are part of everyday interaction: Small lies are often used in order not to offend someone, in order to avoid complicated arguments and explanations. Often nobody is disadvantaged as a result. Lying, deceiving or playing poker are even integral parts of many games. Lies become problematic when they are used specifically to deceive others and to disadvantage, disinform or mislead others in an unacceptable way. Landlords or sellers deliberately do not inform interested parties about certain defects in the properties. Politicians make promises that they know in advance that they cannot keep. Applicants for social assistance withhold the indication of existing savings or the existence of property in order to gain unjustified benefit from social assistance. For this reason, it can be important to find out when people use lies or try to deceive the other person.

According to a survey, im Internet as a self-protection measure particularly often the White lie applied, because over half of the users have already cheated on the Internet, although many do not find anything reprehensible about it, since it is Self protection acts in front of data thieves, malicious eavesdroppers or people with dishonest intentions. One in four therefore has no qualms about fussing, for example in social network Facebook, which is supposed to ensure that you remain anonymous and are therefore less prone to harassment. Every fourth person gives a wrong name, but their age and contact details are also often wrong. However: Stopfer et al. (2013) analyzed Facebook profiles with photos, self-descriptions, pin board entries and linked friends, which showed that people on Facebook behave relatively authentically and have a realistic assessment of their impact on others. People with a high degree of humility, goodness and a focus on social similarities are very popular in the networks, as well as people with a great openness to new experiences and a certain artistic streak. Confident, extrovert, dominant people with a focus on personal advancement, on the other hand, have a higher social status. Obviously, the social behaviors and perceptions on Facebook work on similar principles as in real life. As with everyday social encounters, there are strong differences between people on Facebook as to how extroverted or reserved, original or adapted, friendly or motivated, organized or haphazard, self-confident or self-pitying they are. They also differ in how much and what they report about themselves, how they look and which social groups they join. These differences can all be explained by the personality differences of Facebook users and are used in social assessments and the social decisions based on them, just like in real life. Obviously, personal profile pages in social networks serve less for self-idealization than previously assumed, but rather the users seem to be far more honest and realistic than assumed.

In a survey of over a thousand test subjects in Germany in 2016, the Attitude to honesty investigated, and asked the participants who lies to whom, how often, in which situations, and for what reasons this happens. It was found that around three quarters of the lies are used in direct face-to-face conversations, and every fifth lie is transmitted by telephone or in writing. Lies are most common among friends, because four out of ten respondents said they had been dishonest with acquaintances the day before, and one in three had lied to their partner or work colleague during the same period. A good one in four was not completely honest with their own children or close friends, while parents and superiors are apparently still most likely to be perceived as persons of respect and only just under one in five uses lies to these people. The reasons for this are mostly social, because more than half of the respondents do not want to hurt others or even protect them by lying. Every second person sometimes finds the truth uncomfortable or wants to save themselves trouble, while one in four apparently lies out of calculation in order to achieve their goals. Every sixth person lies out of fear of not being liked otherwise. In the private sphere, almost half of the respondents put forward other obligations if they do not feel like meeting up with acquaintances. At work, people are most likely to lie for collegial reasons or to put themselves in a better light, because four out of ten respondents would lie to their superiors in order to protect a colleague. One in five inflates their application with exaggerated skills in order to improve their chances in the job market. Intrigues in the workplace are seldom forged, as very few would blame colleagues for their own mistakes or deliberately scatter wrong information in order to harm them. The full Results of the study at

A Meta-analysis on the psychology of lies (Gerlach, Teodorescu & Hertwig, 2019) with a summary of 565 studies showed that the tendency to dishonesty depends, among other things, on age and gender. For this meta-analysis, published and as yet unpublished studies from psychology and economics were used, whereby in these studies the extent of dishonesty was examined with the aid of a few, but very different, experimental arrangements. It was found that differences in the experimental setup influence the behavior of the test subjects and thus lead to different results on the extent of dishonesty. It must therefore always be taken into account when interpreting the experimental situations and temptation arrangements people were confronted with. Dishonesty is therefore not just a personality trait, the conditions of the environment also have an influence on the respective behavior. The basic conflict of any lie is usually an electoral situation, because either one is honest and renounces advantages or one lies in order to get more money, power or fame. That depends on both personal and environmental factors. However, the results of most studies are inconclusive, in some cases even contradicting, but overall, 42 percent of all men and 38 percent of all women lied in the experiments examined, so that the assumption that men lie more often than women could be confirmed, even if this difference is only slight. Younger people also lied more often than older people, with the likelihood of someone lying decreasing by 0.28 percentage points every year. While the frequency of lies for 20-year-olds is around 47 percent, it is only 36 percent for 60-year-olds.

Facebook rules - Facebook Manners And You


See honesty in social networks

David Larcker and Anastasia Zakolyukina (Stanford University) have the Language and choice of words of bosses analyzed and found that they spoke less in the first person - “I” or “we” - when they were lying, and instead preferred to refer to the team or “the company”. They used too often over randomly Killer phrasesthat should prevent inquiries, for example "as you probably know ...".

Frequent will be emotional behavior intentional used to simulate emotional states. This happens, for example, within the framework of "representation management" (Patterson, 1991). In order to create a certain impression in third parties, e.g. positive, emotional behavior is shown, often overemphasized. Patterson gives the following example. The boss of the husband or wife is invited to dinner and an attempt is made to simulate the image of a "harmonious" family, although the current relationship does not correspond to this ideal. This can lead to unwanted effects. At one point the problem arises that spontaneous and arbitrary emotional behavior are different. E.g. in the temporal structure of the smile, it is smiled for too long, the smile falls off too quickly or it is asymmetrical, which is an indication of a posed emotional expression. Another problem is that there is no identity between the feigned and the actual emotional state. So it can happen that genuine emotional behavior occurs. This phenomenon is called "leakage", there is a leak, a leak in the deception. For example, angry facial expressions can be visible for a short time. If the person becomes aware of this behavior that contradicts the actual intention, it can be masked by a smile that immediately follows.

The mentiological research (Latin "mentiri" = "to lie") differentiates between different categories of lies:

  • The self-lie
    The self-lie is used to suppress unpleasant truths. When people get behind the wheel drunk and convince themselves that they still have everything under control. They say: "This is the last cigarette!", Although you know very well that you cannot resist the addiction. With the help of this kind of control illusion one can also successfully fight against fears of life.
  • The white lie out of friendship
    Many swindles arise primarily from the desire to please one's fellow human beings, not to expose them or even to hurt them. Just think of the "nice" deadly boring party or the completely unsuccessful hairstyle that "looks really good" on the neighbor.
  • The validity lie
    This mainly concerns exaggerations with which other people are impressed and which satisfy the need for recognition. The small hill that you climbed on vacation quickly turns into a three-thousand-meter peak.
  • The fear lie
    The protection factor in the fear of lying is usually low, as it can usually be easily checked. Instead of honestly admitting a mistake, you want to fool the others, for example out of fear of unpleasant consequences or punishments.
  • The unscrupulous lie
    Lies that are deliberately used to deceive and disadvantage others, to disinform or to mislead, are for their own benefit and are often used by career-addicted people. In order to put yourself in perspective, colleagues or family members are blamed instead of admitting their own mistakes.

See also Discovering Lies

Morbid lying - lying as a disease

Pseudologists - that's how they are called morbid liars - usually seek to compensate for childish deprivations with the help of lies through their lies, or the lie serves to relieve the soul in situations that a pseudologist would otherwise not be able to cope with. The pseudologist lies because the lie secures him recognition and attention, whereby the recognition radiates to the environment of the pseudologist, who therefore often does not question the lies. The Pseudologia Fantastica always presupposes two things: the liar and the one who lets himself be deceived. There are no reliable figures on the number of pseudologists, among other things because the Pseudologia Fantastica is not listed as an individual phenomenon in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The Pseudologia Fantastica nevertheless shows a characteristic pattern of abnormal behavior, namely urgent lying, and is a characteristic disorder of impulse control, whereby the pseudologists lack feelings of guilt and shame. The Pseudologia Fantastica is therefore a syndrome that falls under the narcissistic personality disorder, which is listed in the ICD, and is therefore only part of various disorders such as Munchausen Syndrome, in which people invent or cause diseases themselves with the aim of medical treatment. However, not everyone who lies is already a pseudologist, because everyone knows self-esteem crises and therefore tends to see their life a little nicer and more exciting than it really is.

Not that you lie to me
but that I don't believe you anymore
shook me.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


Lies as a social inheritance?

According to experts (Fetchenhaue & Goebbels, 2012, Kliche & Thiel, 2012) the way people are brought up to be honest, how they obey the rules of fairness and solidarity, is deeply rooted in the country's cultural history. Differences are likely to lie in the authoritarian tradition of a country, so that regulations and controls, for example to avoid corruption, are questionable therapeutic options, because a corrupt predatory society can develop a hermetic, perfectly constitutional facade, i.e. a judicial system itself controlled by corruption, which enables detection and prosecution makes individual cases hopeless and at the same time leads to a kind of self-evident publicity of corruption.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 from Transparency International shows that all European states with high levels of corruption are in economic difficulties, while states with low levels of corruption prosper. That is, the higher the level of financial honesty in a country, the faster the gross national product grows. In addition, the majority of the more honest societies are predominantly Protestant, mostly associated with a democratic tradition, while Catholic societies or without a long democratic history tend to be less honest.

Forms of lies in everyday life

Different forms of lies can be found in everyday communication:

  • The Distract, whereby a diversionary maneuver is usually preceded by an explicit or implicit question, the unambiguous answer of which the respondent wants to avoid.That is why he uses a message with multiple meanings, which by its nature is unclear and undecided. Whether this is a lie depends on whether the questioner realizes that the message is ambiguous or whether he or she has the illusion of receiving a clear answer.
  • At the Inventing and falsifying it is probably the most common form of lies, with falsifications mostly taking place in a gray area of ​​half-truths and lies. With them, not only the content aspect is important, but the deceptive framework also plays a decisive role.
  • The Exaggerate defines itself through the appearance of superlatives while at Understatements either less information is conveyed than would be necessary for a full explanation (half-truths), while some linguistic forms are chosen in such a way that a fact is downplayed.
  • At the omitting information in a statement is left out to such an extent that the interlocutor gives the wrong impression. The most extreme variant is the complete one Concealwhereby the absence of a piece of information hides the receiver that there is something to learn.

Lies as a result of professional socialization

An important model of social psychology states that all people develop numerous different social identities in the course of their life through belonging to certain groups, whereby these identities are also related to different social norms that always come up when a group membership is in a given situation is particularly significant. Under this premise, Cohn et al. (2014) examines how the network of values ​​and unwritten rules within the banking industry Employee morale shapes. To this end, 128 employees of a large international bank were asked to complete a short online survey, whereby some of the test subjects only had to answer very general questions about their living conditions, while the other test persons were reminded of their professional background with specific questions. Then all test subjects were asked to toss a coin ten times and state the result, whereby they could win a reward of US $ 20 in each round, depending on whether they named "heads" or "tails". The result of the money was always known in advance, because the aim was to test the honesty of the test subjects. Under normal conditions, it was found that the bank employees were mostly telling the truth, because on average they named the profitable result for around 51 percent of all coin tosses. However, if the participants had previously been reminded of their professional background, they received money instead in 58 percent of all cases. From statistical principles it can be clearly deduced that the test persons in the second group more frequently changed the actual result in their favor. As a control, the same experiment was carried out with employees from other sectors, in which no differences were found between the groups if the test subjects were reminded of their occupation beforehand. One can therefore assume that it is above all the banking culture that fundamentally lowers the honesty of bank employees.

Lies in a foreign language

There are two contradicting theories about lying in a foreign language in psychology: The cognitive load theory suggests that liars find it more difficult in a foreign language; compared to telling the truth, lying is a cognitively demanding task in itself compared to telling the truth. If the foreign language is added, the increasing cognitive load makes lying even more difficult. The Emotional Distance Hypothesis is based on the assumption that lying is associated with more emotions than sticking to the truth. That is, if you lie, you are under stress and tense, but speaking in a second language is less emotionally arousing compared to speaking in a mother tongue. Based on this emotional distance hypothesis, one would expect that lying in a foreign language would cause less emotional arousal, because this decreased emotional arousal would make lying easier.

Suchotzki & Gamer (2018) have now examined lying in a foreign language and found that recognizing a lie is even more difficult if the potential liar does not speak in his or her mother tongue. In general, it is not more difficult for most people to lie in a foreign language than in their mother tongue, but it looks different with truthful statements, because it is much more difficult for many people to tell lies in an unfamiliar language than in their mother tongue. Previous research in this area had primarily focused on the trustworthiness of people who speak their mother tongue or a foreign language, and showed that observers were more likely to judge statements made by native speakers as truthful compared to statements made by non-native speakers.

In a series of experiments, the test subjects had to complete special tasks and were asked to answer a multitude of questions, one truthful, one lying, one in their mother tongue and one in a foreign language. Some of these questions were formulated neutrally, such as “Berlin is / is not in Germany”, others were clearly emotional in character, such as “Have you ever used illegal drugs?” Or “Would you work as a nude model?”. In addition to the speed of the responses, skin conductivity and heart rate were also measured. It was shown that answering emotional questions usually takes longer than answering neutral questions and that the answers in the foreign language also require more time than answers in the mother tongue. In general, it also took longer to tell a lie than to tell the truth, although in a foreign language the temporal differences between lies and truthful answers in the mother tongue are smaller. The smaller difference, however, did not result from a quick answer that was a lie; rather, the truth came more slowly from the lips in the foreign language than in the mother tongue. In a foreign language, the time differences between truth and lies in neutral or emotional questions were, in principle, always smaller. The results reflect the opposing effects of emotional distance and cognitive stress. Based on cognitive stress theory, one would have expected an increased effort for telling the truth and lying in a foreign language, with the increased effort for lying being more pronounced, but in fact the data suggest that the increased cognitive effort for the prolongation of the truth reaction is responsible for the foreign language. Why this extension is not or only slightly visible when lying can be explained with the help of the Emotional Distance Hypothesis, because the greater emotional distance in the foreign language thus more or less compensates for the increased cognitive load when lying.

Language, science, truth, lies

Friedrich Nietzsche Incidentally, puts language under the general suspicion of being a lie, because for him language is a web of images and metaphors, which one has only forgotten that they are only metaphors and images. If, as is often the case in science, one claims to define truth as the correspondence of language and facts, then ultimately one only finds out as truth about things that which has long been hidden in the language used, so that the bias is imprisoned in language has become a (self) lie that can no longer be seen through.

"Will" hypothesis vs "Grace" hypothesis

The "Will" hypothesis states that honesty the ability is to resist the temptation to lie and is in contrast to the "grace" hypothesis, which assumes that many honest people have no temptation to lie at all and consequently do not have to fight it at all. Joshua Greene and Joseph Paxton (Harvard University, Cambridge) had test subjects predict the outcome of a coin toss in a study. If they were correct with their prediction, they received a small cash prize, but one also had the opportunity to cheat and claim to have correctly predicted the outcome of the throw. The brain activity of the test subjects was clear: The "Grace" hypothesis applies to honest people, because they did not show any brain activity in the prefrontal cortex (control center for the control of actions) that indicates an inner conflict or an active fight against the Temptation pointed out. In subjects who also lied once in the experiments, there was brain activity that suggested such a conflict, but both when they were telling the truth and when they were cheating.

source: (09-07-14)

More lies in emails

Charles Naquin et al. (University of South Carolina) tested the honesty of their test subjects (48 students) in two experiments, who were given an imaginary cash register with the contents of 89 dollars and were asked to inform an unknown test partner either by e-mail or by letter, how much money was in the till and how much of it they would be willing to share. Of the students who communicated by email, 92 percent lied and changed the value of the cash register in their own favor. Of the letter writers, however, only 63 percent lied. In another experiment, 177 managers were supposed to compete against each other in groups of three, each of them having to compete with the others as the leader of a research group for research funding. Although the participants knew each other and every lie should be exposed in the end, the emailers lied and cheated again more often.
source: (10-04-29)

Cheating in computer games

Lies are also being lied in computer games, although the story of these games is also a story of cheating, because the very first games had cheat codes with which players could become invincible or skip difficult passages. Today, cheating is a widespread phenomenon. In the online shooter Counter-Strike, for example, software is often used to see the opponent through walls, or target machines are used to increase the accuracy of the hit. Cheating is probably based on behavior that is also used in real life, where it is more or less tolerated and sometimes even rewarded. They are the same structures of thought and behavior as in the glossing over résumé, insurance fraud, tax evasion, advertising and product packaging or even in personals.

source: Time online from 11/29/2010

Lies for sex

Birnbaum et al. (2020) examined the strategies people use to impress potential sexual partners, including lies, glossing over, and deception. Experiments on students have shown that sexual thoughts or arousal increase the likelihood that people will try to appear in the most positive light possible to strangers of the opposite sex, even at the expense of the truth or their own convictions. The study thus confirms that sexually aroused people care more about how they are perceived by people of the opposite sex. That is, people do and say almost anything to connect with an unfamiliar, attractive person


Birnbaum, Gurit E., Iluz, Mor & Reis, Harry T. (2020). Making the right first impression: Sexual priming encourages attitude change and self-presentation lies during encounters with potential partners. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 86, doi: 10.1016 / j.jesp.2019.103904.

Why people lie to the doctor

Research shows that between sixty and eighty percent of people occasionally tell their doctor the untruth, for example when it comes to questions about nutrition, by glossing over their fitness or by not swallowing food supplements and Chinese herbal mixes, but also by hiding that they do not take their medication on a regular basis take in. If you disagree with the doctor's recommendations, hide your negative attitude as well, because most patients want their doctor to have a high opinion of them. You don't want to be seen as someone who doesn't care enough about themselves. They also do not want to be judged or instructed and do not want to hear how much they harm themselves with their own behavior. Additionally, they want to be valued by the doctor and not ashamed. That is why it is circulating among doctors Rule of thumbthat they have to halve the physical activity mentioned by the patients and double their alcohol consumption in order to get realistic information. By the way, patients have a fine antenna that many doctors expect that they will eat less or healthier and do more sport, so that a certain moral pressure builds up to show oneself trying hard and disciplined in the doctor's office.

source: (18-12-06)

Curiosities about lies

American researchers at California State University have found out in an experiment that the areas of the brain that play an important role in lying and deceiving are active when controlling the bladder. Her conclusion: It's better to lie with a full bladder.

See also children and lies

A liar doesn't have a good memory.
Persian proverb

Reasons for lying gender specific

Women Incidentally, they tend to lie for prosocial reasons, for example when it comes to their feelings while Men on the other hand, more likely to lie for yourself, for example to present yourself in a better light. Peter Stiegnitz, founder of the Mentiology (Latin "mentiri" = "to lie"), the doctrine of lying, has put up hit lists of male and female lies. Number one for men: the car; Number one for women: weight. Women also often lie so as not to hurt the feelings and self-esteem of others. Research also shows that women tend to feel more uncomfortable than men when they lie, so they are more nervous, feel more guilty afterwards and are afraid of being exposed. Incidentally, in the case of unmarried partners, it was found that 85 percent lie to their partners about previous relationships and misconduct.

People of very different ethnic origins also lie differently, because that's how they use it in an experiment Europeans When lying, the word "I" is seldom used in order to distance oneself from an incident, and Europeans make up stories that are less detailed. African and Asian Test subjects, on the other hand, use the word "I" more often and also mention other people less often in their stories of lies, as if they were trying to keep others out and mainly referring to the lie.

Dana Samson et al. (University of Birmingham) have im temporoparietal transition cortex discovered a brain region that plays a decisive role in assessing a conversation partner. Stroke patients with brain damage in this area can no longer judge whether the other person is lying or telling a joke. The subjects failed in an experiment to reproduce a person's thoughts in a video or a narration, although they achieved good results in other perception tests. So far, we only knew that the brain region behind the ear played a role in processing indications such as the direction in which someone is looking

Yaling Yang & Adrian Raine (University of Southern California) used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the brain structure of notorious liars. Accordingly, they have more white brain matter in the brain area that is responsible for connecting the nerve cells, from which they conclude that better networking is a prerequisite for a sophisticated lie.
source: Nature Neuroscience 2004.

When comparing the Brain scans of three groups, 1. adults who lied repeatedly, 2. people who suffered from antisocial personality disorder but did not lie particularly frequently, and 3. people who did not display antisocial behavior or were habitual liars were found to have the Liars have at least a twenty percent greater volume of nerve fibers in the prefrontal cortex had. This suggests that the brains of notorious liars are more networked, or it is possible that they are predestined to lie because they can make up lies more easily. A causality cannot be deduced from this ;-)

The truth is like a well-known whore.
Everyone knows her, but it's embarrassing
when you meet her on the street.
Wolfgang Borchert

How can you find a new beginning after a lie?

  • First of all, the disappointment must be that Abuses of trust are processed. This happens best when you admit all feelings of anger, sadness or fear of yourself, live them and stand by them.
  • You can only build trust with your partner afterwards together happen.
  • Discuss any expectations you have of the partner. Clarify misunderstandings or the causes that led to the disappointment and the abuse of trust. Try to accusations to avoid.
  • Take action binding rules that both partners want to adhere to in the future.
  • Check it out never secretlywhether the partner is sticking to the agreement, but if so, speak openly about your remaining fears.

source: (06-02-02


How there are seldom compliments without a lie
so there is seldom rudeness without any truth.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

A certain degree of ignorance of the other is the prerequisite for
that two people remain friends.
Hermann Bahr

Secrets - a form of lie or necessity of life?

In general, secrets tend to have a bad reputation, because hiding something from other people, perhaps deceiving them or even lying to them is morally reprehensible. But it can be beneficial to keep some things to yourself and to come to more self-determination. It is also often unpleasant to people when they have to assume that people who know them well are hiding something from them. This reaction is understandable, it causes discomfort, and it contributes to the fact that secrets have a bad taste. However, if people could not keep anything to themselves, they would be at the mercy of others without protection. Psychologists are of the opinion that secrets protect our living space from unauthorized access. Social togetherness would no longer work if there were no secrets, because in many cases the absolute truth would be unbearable. Mystery researcher Anita E. Kelly believes that everyone is hiding something from others at some point in their life. One of their studies comes to the conclusion that 99 percent of people keep something secret. The few studies that exist on the subject of mystery confirm time and time again that most of the secrets revolve around the subject of sexuality. 200 students were asked what they keep a secret from important people in their life: 22 percent of the respondents admitted that they keep a previous sexual relationship closed in their hearts. Eight percent withheld one from their partner Fling. 14 percent did not dare to confess to an alleged friend that they do not have positive feelings for him. Four percent still loved an ex-partner. Three percent did not say that they were sexually abused as a child, and three percent had secretly snooped into someone else's life, for example reading their diary. Ursula Nuber names in her book "Leave me my secret! Why it is good not to reveal everything" positive functions of secrets:

  • Secrets encourage independence.
  • Secrets give protection.
  • Secrets can often help achieve and realize goals.
  • Secrets protect privacy.
  • Secrets are for love.
  • Secrets keep us from painful self-knowledge.
  • Secrets enable a second life besides the normal.
  • Secrets give power.
  • But secrets must always be compatible with one's own moral standards.
See also the secrets of real estate agent language and Nonverbal communication

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Cohn, A. Fehr, E. & Maréchal, M. A. (2014). Business culture and dishonesty in the banking industry. Nature, doi: 10.1038 / nature13977.

Ekman, P. (1989). Why lies have short legs: About deceptions and their exposure in private and public life. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Dietzsch, Steffen (1998). Small cultural history of the lie. Leipzig: Reclam.

Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Goebbels, Thomas (2012). Lies have small wallets - economic consequences and determinants of financial honesty. In E.H. Witte, T. Gollan (Ed.) Social Psychology and Economics. Pabst.

Gerlach, P., Teodorescu, K., & Hertwig, R. (2019). The truth about lies: A meta-analysis on dishonest behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 145, 1-44.

Kliche, Thomas & Thiel, Stephanie (Eds.) (2012). Corruption - state of research, prevention, problems. Pabst.

Mayer, Christiane (2011). Hush-hush! Why we need secrets.
WWW:,1872,8244456,00.html?dr=1 (11-06-11)

Molcho, Samy (1988). Body language as dialogue: Mosaik-Verlag.

Schmid-Fahrner, Christine (2001). Trust and confide in being safe in a partnership. Herder.

DePaulo, B.M., Kashy, D.A., Kirkendol, S.E., Wyer, M.M. & Epstein, J.A. (1996). Lying in everyday life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 979-995.

Peale, Norman Vincent (2001). The power of positive thinking. Lübbe publishing house.

Stiegnitz, Peter (2001). The truth: we all lie.
WWW: (07-02-02)

Schmid, J. (2000). Lies in Everyday Life - Creation and Evaluation of Communicative Deceptions. Münster: Lit-Verlag.

Stopfer, J. M., Egloff, B., Nestler, S., & Back, M. D. (2013). Personality expression and impression formation in online social networks: An integrative approach to understanding the processes of accuracy, impression management, and meta-accuracy. European Journal of Personality.

Suchotzki, Kristina & Gamer, Matthias (2018). The language of lies: Behavioral and autonomic costs of lying in a native compared to a foreign language. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 147, 734-746.

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