Not All Lies Are Equal

By Truth About Deception

Not all lies are the same. And trust comes in different flavors too.

New research reveals that being lied to can increase trust, some of the time.

When someone tells a lie with good intent, trust increases. That is, if someone tells a prosocial lie, we tend to trust him or her more. We make ourselves more open and vulnerable to prosocial liars – this is called “affective trust.”1 We judge people based on their intentions.

While affective trust increases when prosocial lies are told; integrity-based trust tells a different story. Integrity-based trust, the belief that others are honest, actually requires telling the truth.1

If you are a prosocial liar, people may feel more safe and close to you. But, that doesn’t mean that others will necessarily believe what you say.

Just as there are different types of lies, there are different types of trust.


1Levine, E., & Schweitzer, J. (2013).  Prosocial lies:  When deception breeds trust.  Available at SSRN 2266091


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