To tell the truth

Lykken, David T. (1980) To tell the truth. [Preprint]

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Lewis Thomas, in a previous issue of Discover magazine, had speculated on the sociobiological significance of the "fact" that telling a lie produces a "reproducible cascade" of physiological changes. In this response, I explain that this "fact' is a myth, the deeply entrenched myth of the lie detector. It is plausible to suppose that our ancestors evolved the ability to lie not long after acquiring the ability to talk, both of these talents having obvious adaptive qualities. They did not, however, evolve a Pinocchio's nose, an involuntary response or pattern of responses that is always shown when, and only when, a lie is being told or a deceptive answer given.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:lying, lie detection, polygraph tests
Subjects:Psychology > Clinical Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:775
Deposited By: Lykken, David
Deposited On:20 Dec 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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