Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UMass Researcher Finds Link Between Lying And Popularity

Date:
December 14, 1999
Source:
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst
Summary:
The most popular students in school sometimes are the best liars, according to a study conducted by University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert S. Feldman and published in the most recent Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

AMHERST, Mass. - The most popular students in school sometimes are the best liars, according to a study conducted by University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert S. Feldman and published in the most recent Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

"We found that convincing lying is actually associated with good social skills. It takes social skills to be able to control your words as well as what you say non-verbally," said Feldman.

Feldman asked the parents of a group of 32 middle- and high-school students between the ages of 11 and 16 to complete questionnaires providing information about their children's activities, social relations, and school performance. Based on that data, the children were divided into high and low social-competence groups. Student participants from both groups were asked individually to sip a pleasant-tasting, sweet drink, and a sour, unsweetened version, as part of a taste test. Next, they were instructed to persuade an interviewer that they liked or disliked the drinks, even if that was not the case. This meant each participant gave one truthful and one deceptive interview.

According to Feldman, the interviews were videotaped, and the tapes were edited into equal segments in a random order. Fifty-eight college students watched clips of all 64 interviews, then evaluated the participants' effectiveness in expressing their convictions. The results were tabulated against the drinks tested, the ages and genders of the testers, and the social competency ratings provided by parents.

"We wanted to find out if having high social skills can make it easier for you to deceive others, or if being a better liar can make you more popular," said Feldman.

The study found that older adolescents were more adept at deception than the younger ones. Younger or older females were more likely to excel at lying than their male counterparts. Among all ages and genders, those adolescents with the highest level of social competence were the most talented liars. They were able to verbalize untruths while controlling their nonverbal behavior, including facial expression, vocal pitch and mannerisms, posture, and eye contact. Those youths with the poorest social skills had the most trouble controlling their nonverbal behavior when lying.

"This study tells us something about people: It's unrealistic to expect them to always tell the truth. In fact, it's not even the way we want people to always behave," Feldman said. "Children are taught at an early age to be polite and say something nice in social situations, even if it's not the absolute truth. In fact, pretending is part of many children's and adult's games."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "UMass Researcher Finds Link Between Lying And Popularity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214072623.htm>.
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. (1999, December 14). UMass Researcher Finds Link Between Lying And Popularity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214072623.htm
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "UMass Researcher Finds Link Between Lying And Popularity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214072623.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins