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  • Hey y'all. Time for two truths and a lie.

  • I'm gonna tell you three things about myself.

  • You have to pick up one that it's not true. Ready?

  • Okay. Number one, I have a machine at home that transforms plain water into carbonated water.

  • Two: I'm really bad at the card game Set

  • Three, Michael Jackson is my aunt. Isn't that obvious?

  • Yeah. God, so bad at games.

  • Lying. We do it a lot.

  • And we're a lot better at it than you'd like to think.

  • Like I'm not a stupid. I could totally make up a better lie than Michael Jackson is my aunt.

  • But check it out; the fact that I appeared to be terrible at lying was in fact a lie.

  • In the ten-minute conversation with a stranger, we humans will tell an average of 3 lies.

  • Researchers who study lying said that the subjects of these lying studies

  • rarely even realize that they're doing it.

  • But why? What purpose does lying actually serve?

  • Well, to put human deception into perspective, it's worth pointing out that humans aren't the only fibbers in nature.

  • My favorite anecdotal examples of non-human lying.

  • Koko the gorilla who was taught sign language back in 1970s.

  • Once actually blamed her pet kitten for ripping a sink out of the wall in her room.

  • Bad bad old ball. So yeah, lying is nothing new with nature.

  • But why did humans specifically do so much of it?

  • Well as I mentioned here before on SciShow, humans are first and foremost social animals.

  • Got really, super-huge brains, and that's mainly because we need them for all the interacting we're always doing.

  • For human successful social interaction is key to success for much of our lives.

  • So it's clear that lying is a great way of keeping elaborate social structures running smoothly while looking out for number one.

  • For instance, if you can keep your social group happy, you're going to reap all kinds of benefits

  • like food, higher social standing, more and better sexual partners

  • and you know you don't make friends and influence people going around and saying things like

  • Actually, that loincloth does make your butt look big,”

  • or "Hey, uh, I have been having sex with your brother while you're out hunting mastodons,

  • so little Blurgh over there is probably your cave nephew."

  • So the ability to lie and to detect a lie became pretty important to early humans

  • Because lying is actually not very easy for a brain to do

  • And actually caused a bit of an evolutionary arms race.

  • So people start to get better and better at lying.

  • Better liars got better stuff while hopefully remain in good standing with their communities.

  • By the same time token those who were better at detecting lies were cheated on by their mates and

  • screwed over in camel trades a lot or less of it

  • So yes now we've evolved to be good liars and also good at spotting bad liar.

  • So that society became more sophisticated. Folks were like

  • okay okay. Enough with the lying!

  • Because there are a lot of advantages to living in tight-knit communities and structured societies,

  • but you can't really have them when you don't know for sure if the kids you're raising are yours

  • and the camels you just bought has ever been in an accident. Whatever

  • So a society in which bold face lying goes completely unchecked leads to total anarchy.

  • So organized societies started putting the hammer down.

  • Religious systems began to drive home the point that God rewards and cares for the truthful and punishes liars.

  • So if you could survive being thrown into the bog and tied up with a sack of hammers,

  • God was on your side and you were telling the truth.

  • If not, you were obviously lying.

  • Oh. Medieval European judicial system, how I love you.

  • Even now, in modern times, there are laws that prohibit lying

  • and override even our rights to free speech.

  • For instance, you go to jail for lying in the court of law

  • or for lying about having received a Medal of Honor for service in the armed forces.

  • Don't do that. Also, ‘cause you're not an evil... Why would someone do that?

  • So lying it's not okay.

  • But we're all so good at it, and our brains want to do it.

  • And we start lying really early; some researchers say as early as six months old.

  • I mean you've seen a baby fake crying right?

  • It's very obvious. Like they're crying,

  • then they like check to see if anybody's coming over to sympathize,

  • and then they're likeOh, I'm going to keep crying then.”

  • Scientists think this is the time when babies are actually learning how to be better liars.

  • By the time when kids in college, they're lying to the mom about once in every five interactions

  • And actually, that seems, that seems low to me.

  • I would say five out of five for my college experience.

  • Kids these days, actually, kids every day.

  • By the time, we're adults. We've gotten so very good at lying

  • that we're actually able to do it to ourselves very effectively.

  • The trick of lying to yourself is in the holding of two pieces conflicting information in your head at the same time

  • And paying attention to one while ignoring the other.

  • People who are good liars can hold a bunch of conflicted information in their heads all at once and keep tracking to that

  • Take pathological liars, people who habitually and compulsively lie, cheat, and manipulate other people.

  • The thing about pathological liars is that they're super good at self-deception

  • At the moment they're telling it, they whole-heartedly believe their own lie.

  • Interestingly enough, there is an actual difference between the brain of a normal person and the brain of a pathological liar.

  • That difference is in the very front of the brain, in a place called the prefrontal cortex.

  • Most neuroscience studies focus on the gray matter of the brain, that's the material that actually processes information.

  • However, nearly half of our brains are made up of what's called white matter

  • Which is composed of connective tissues that carry electrical signals from one group of neurons to another.

  • So gray matter is where all the processing happens and white matter connects the different parts of the brain

  • In a study at the University of Southern California, researchers found that

  • pathological liars have about 25 % more white matter in their prefrontal cortex than the rest of us.

  • Suggesting the pathological liars can make a bunch of connections in their brain really fast.

  • And that let them keep all the information in order that they need to sustain the lie.

  • also to read the person that they're lying to, suppress their emotions,

  • and probably believe what they're saying on top of it all.

  • So why haven't pathological liars taken over the world?

  • I mean, they seem to be the next step in human evolution.

  • Well, pathological liars have a surplus of white matter, they also have around 14% less gray matter than other people.

  • And grey matter is where all the critical thinking happens.

  • So the white matter is all like, “I'm gonna tell Jim I used to be a fighter pilot!”

  • And the gray matter is all, “I could tell Jim I used to be a fighter pilot,

  • but I probably shouldn't because that would jeopardize my relationship with Tammi.”

  • So extreme liars have a really hard time maintaining relationships and holding down jobs

  • Because after a while, everybody realizes they are full of crap and they get dumped or fired,

  • Which is not ideal for the person. It's great for everyone.

  • But if there are these super liars out there, how do we know if we're being lied to?

  • I mean, lie detectors might be able to pick up signals like

  • like change the liar's voice, or increased heart rate, or sweating

  • all stuff that we do when we're fibbing out right.

  • But a really good liar might not display any of those symptoms.

  • Well, no matter how good of a liar you are, the fact that you are lying will often leak out,

  • Both through your body language and for your word choices.

  • Let's look at the sample sentences.

  • Believe me, I was not the one who farted and evacuated that movie theater.

  • So do you believe me? Probably not

  • because I did three things in that sentence that made you totally certain

  • that I was, in fact, the person who made them evacuate the movie theater. Do it!

  • One, I saidbelieve meliars will always said that

  • orto be totally honest.”

  • Or Richard Nixon's favorite: “in all candor.”

  • Two, I all of a sudden stopped using contractions.

  • Liars often use more formal language to deny something that they've actually done.

  • And three, I said that movie theater instead of the movie theater.

  • I was trying to distance myself from the whole situation.

  • We think of liars as being fidgety, but we actually tend to freeze our upper bodies when we lie.

  • We make more, not less, eye contact; maybe a little too much to over-compensate for telling a fib.

  • Liars will also do things like shake their heads while saying yes.

  • And smile when they're done telling the story even if it's a terrible one

  • All of this stuff, the reading of what we leak through our words and bodies, is actually the future of lie detection.

  • Training law enforcement officers to read potential criminals to catch them in the act of lying.

  • Of course there are always coming up with new kinds of gadgets all the time, too

  • eye trackers, MRI brain scanners that are going to replace the old lie-detector tests

  • Maybe I'll tell my two truths and a lie to a brain scanner and see how it does.

  • Pretty sure we all know how it's gonna turn out.

  • Yeah, you're right; I'm a terrible liar. Or am I?

  • Thank you for watching this Infusion. All the facts contained within are not lies, we promise!

  • But if you want to check, there are citations in the description. Of course because we're scientists here.

  • If you have ideas for future episodes or infusions, you can leave those in the comments.

  • Or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter also questions. We'll be happy to answer those as well.

  • See you next time.

Hey y'all. Time for two truths and a lie.

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B1 中級

嘘をつくことの科学 (The Science of Lying)

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    Go Tutor に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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