New Research Revealed That Lying Decreases Self-Esteem, Regardless Of Whether A Lie Is Self-Serving Or Told To Protect Others

Africa Studio - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Every person has lied before, whether it was to a coworker, loved one, or even your partner. However, new research suggests that we are more likely to lie for our own emotional benefit in order to avoid shame or rejection rather than to safeguard the feelings of others.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, conducted four experiments to explore whether lying leads to psychological impacts like reduced self-esteem and negative emotions– including regret, anxiety, unhappiness, or discomfort.

In one of the experiments, participants were asked to monitor their lying habits for one whole day. The results showed that 22% admitted to telling lies for self-serving reasons; meanwhile, 8% lied to protect another person. Additionally, 69% of participants stated they didn’t lie at all that day.

During a different experiment, the participants faced eight dilemmas, which were categorized into four self-centered and four “other-oriented” scenarios.

One example of a self-centered dilemma included a participant imagining themselves at a job interview when they were asked about having experience in a relevant job aspect that they actually lacked.

Then, one example of an “other-oriented” dilemma included a participant not liking a dress that their friend really loved.

Approximately 42% of participants decided to lie in the self-centered scenarios, while around 46% resorted to lying in the “other-oriented” situations. Regardless of the differences, though, both groups of liars claimed to experience more negative emotions and lower self-esteem compared to those who told the truth.

In another experiment, researchers also asked the participants to recall a dilemma they had personally encountered in their own lives.

“Participants who were asked to recall a situation in which they lied reported to have experienced lower self-esteem after the situation compared with participants who were asked to recall a situation in which they did not lie,” the team revealed.

Africa Studio – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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