How to tell if someone is a big liar or just fibbing, according to science
Hey, everyone fibs now and again. But according to science, there are ways to tell if someone is a Big Liar or just a regular white-lie-to-keep-the-peace kind of liar. There’s a difference, for sure. A recent study published by the Journal of Business Research investigates what percent of Americans can be considered ‘big-liars.’ According to the study, a ‘big liar’ is a person who self-reports “telling lies twelve-or-more times annually.” These aren’t your everyday white lies that we all tell ourselves (e.g. Pizza is good for you! or I’ll be there in 5 minutes!), because it turns out that people fib a lot more than you might expect, but real lies involve actual deception.
According to Broadly, the study reveals that some people are certifiable masters of deceit, because
"13 percent of people tell 58 percent of the totalled untruths — that's ten percent of the population telling more than half of all the lies."
So how can we distinguish the big liars’ from the…little liars?
Well, after the group of professors at Curtin University analyzed 3,349 results that people from “all major ethnic, incomes, and geographic regions” of the United States, they narrowed the results down to two demographics.
According to the study, “single, low-educated, antisocial (prone to rage), childless, and house-renting men” are among the worst offenders. But ladies, don’t get too proud just yet. Married, young, and wealthy women are also pretty guilty of bending the truth. The most truthful? Older, wealthier women over 70 years old. So when your grandma makes note at the holiday table that you are still single or that sweater makes you look, “rustic,” she’s really just being scientifically on point. Grandmas do not lie, for better or worse.
The good news is that the common factors among these ‘big liars’ is that they are both antisocial, so you it’s possible you aren’t interacting with them very often.
Arch G. Woodside, one of the authors of the study, revealed some helpful tips for identifying when people are lying to you.
“Look at what they do versus what they say they do... Because people lie most of all to themselves,” Woodside told Broadly.
It’s the age-old adage: Actions speak louder than words. For example, when someone tells you they’re a good person and then they turn around and drop-kick a baby in line for the movies, you can pretty much be sure that they’re a ‘big liar.’ (And maybe stop talking to them because drop-kicking babies, even crying babies in long lines, is something we should all avoid.)
Now that we know what constitutes a ‘big liar,’ we’re wondering when science is going to come out with a classification for someone who is a Big Fat Liar.
Stay honest, friends.