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Things that women know: why do men lie?

 A "good witch" shares a heartbreaking story about a suitor who lied to her. For reasons of individual modesty, we will omit the details and come to the question that ends the appeal: why do men lie? Because everyone lies

Men lie because they are human and we all lie. How many lies? In a study in which the participants were asked to record every lie they told in their daily lives, the subjects reported an average of 2 lies per day. It seems that those who report 2 lies a day use up half of the daily quota: a more careful monitoring showed that about 20% of the conversations we conduct include lies and when the conversation is allowed to extend to 10 minutes the chance of a lie increases to 60%. This is true, dear witch, of both sexes. The differences between the sexes, it turns out, are precisely in the type of lies that are told in their ears, most of the lies told to men (by both liars and liars) concern the liar himself (I can't stand "survival"), while to women we tend to tell more lies about themselves (the haircut suits you very well. .) or on others.

For the benefit of those who doubt the reliability of people's reports of their lies, we will move from the field to the laboratory. A large number of experiments have been conducted under controlled conditions to measure our tendency to lie. A typical experiment involves a game in which one of the players is given the opportunity to lie, for example he has to report to a second player the result of rolling a dice. Such experiments have an advantage over field studies since the researcher can know with certainty whether and under what circumstances the subject is lying. The results of these studies, in terms of the relationship between gender and lying, are not conclusive (there are studies in which women lied more and many that the difference was not significant) but when summarizing a large number of studies (meta-analysis) it appears that men are more inclined than women to "black lies" that is, lies which give profit to the liar at the expense of his partner in the game. No difference was found between men and women in "white lies" such as those that pay off for both parties (at the expense of the researcher) or in revenge lies, that is, when a player lies out of anger at the partner even though the result is a loss for both. The difference may be due to a more competitive approach to the game in men, a study that examined the relationship between the tendency to lie and the degree of competitiveness of the participant (as opposed to an empathic attitude toward the opponent) revealed that competitive women lie as competitive men under the same conditions. The differences between men and women disappeared in games where no material reward is given to the winner.

Because they can

Strangely enough, even though most of us lie a lot, we tend to believe most of what we are told, and discovering a lie causes a severe emotional reaction that may lead to a questioning of "things that donors know". The fact that we are not all angry all the time indicates the high success rate of liars. Thanks to being excellent liars and bad detectives, we often manage to lie and our friends manage to lie to us and thus the relationships with spouses, family members, friends and colleagues are preserved. And in the words of the philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal "The relationship between human beings is based solely on mutual deception and only a few friendships would last if each person knew what his friend was saying about him without his face... I state decisively: if all people knew what they were saying about each other , there were not four friends in the world"

Because they should

But, witch, your question is not about just lies, but lies that we men (or at least some of us), tell you during courtship. Here, indeed, there is a difference: men lie more. Whether it's a pattern of behavior dictated by hormones or whether it's about conforming to the social patterns we've been brought up to. Many men strive for maximum "conquests", while women are more interested in long-term relationships than we are. Followers of evolutionary psychology explain that since the burden of pregnancy and caring for the child fell on the woman, the process of natural selection shaped picky women who were looking for a partner who would stay around to support, protect and provide for them. For men, natural selection was more capricious, with our chimpanzee-like ancestors, the ruling male enjoyed the favor of all the females in the group, and the only chance for junior males to produce offspring was to cheat: to take one of the females for a walk in nature behind the ruler's back. When the livelihood difficulties of our ancestors who separated from the monkeys forced them to invent the family in which both parents work to ensure the survival of their children, the fatherly, devoted and faithful man appeared whose diligence and perseverance brought his children to adulthood. But even in that new monogamous world there was room for "cheaters", that is, those who managed to seduce a woman and leave the job of protecting and providing for the offspring to the deceived husband. In fact, in each of us there are, in different doses, these two personality characteristics that in order to allow both to live together you have to lie sometimes. Studies examining what makes a man attractive to a woman and vice versa have shown an imbalance between men and women. A man's sexual attraction to women is almost only affected by external appearance, while the degree of attraction that women feel towards a potential suitor is also determined by his degree of socio-economic success. This is how curt officers and bespectacled managers gain sexual success like shapely young men. Since it is difficult to lie about height or weight, but it is easy to lie about social status or willingness for a long-term relationship, men have a greater interest in lying to women. Of course, there are also those who firmly claim that there is no "courtship gene" in our DNA and that the differences between the sexes originate from a culture that shapes personality and the degree of honesty according to models that match its values.

Does a lie have legs?

It turns out that it is. Psychologist Daniel Linton tested this very question: how successful men are liars. Men aged 18 to 40 were tested in a series of personality tests and asked about their sexual success. Not surprisingly, a match was found between men's success in obtaining sex and personality traits that were classified as Machiavellian after the Italian thinker Niccolò Machiavelli who advised princes during the Renaissance on how to establish their rule with techniques of deception and deception. Machiavellianism is the ability to manipulate people to your benefit without considering the rules of honesty and decency. Psychologists who studied these behaviors discovered that among the successors of Machiavelli there are both women and men, but when it comes to sexual behavior, women tend to restrain the Machiavelli in their souls, while the men reveal the peak of their Machiavellianness precisely in relation to potential female partners. Another trait that characterizes successful Don Juans is boldness defined as the enjoyment of risky actions (including, apparently, the danger of a lie being discovered). Folklore and comedies are full of stories that show that a willingness to pretend and lie was essential for many of our ancestors in order to get our grandmothers into their beds and thus bequeath to us something of their qualities.

How did you find out he was lying?

As mentioned, most liars are not caught in their spoilage, the ability of women to recognize men who are liars is not high. In an experiment in which women were asked to identify whether a foreign man describing himself was lying or telling the truth. It turned out that single women were much better at detecting lies than their busy counterparts. The researchers explained the difference by saying that liar detection is more important for single women who need to screen out suitors. For some reason the alternative explanation was forgotten: there are not enough truth tellers and those who successfully identify liars are simply left alone.  

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