New cross-cultural research on the motivation underlying deception reveals that most lies are told for selfish motives. Over half of the motivations reported for engaging in deception involve advancing one’s interests at another’s expanse – such as covering up a betrayal or achieving an economic or non-economic advantage.
While people often like to think they lie to protect other’s feelings, deception is also clearly used to promote our own interests.
Source: Levine, T. R., Ali, M. V., Dean, M., Abdulla, R. A., & Garcia-Ruano, K. (2016). Toward a Pan-cultural Typology of Deception Motives. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 45(1), 1-12.