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.
Lovers lie and sometimes they confess to doing so. What motivates a partner’s decision to come clean and tell the truth? New research shows that a confessor’s motivation isn’t always pure. One of the strongest motivations for telling the truth to a partner? The belief that the lie that was told was going to be discovered. It’s fairly clear whose interests are being served by such confessions – the person who lied in the first place.
Source: Kearns, K. D. (2016). Unsolicited confession of deception in romantic relationships (Doctoral dissertation).
Lying | Relationships
New research confirms what has been known for decades. People’s ability to detect deception through body language is no better than flipping a coin. Even, gut-level reactions are no better than chance.
The only reliable way to detect deception? You have to know the truth about what the person is talking about. That’s how we catch people in their lies – we know when people aren’t telling the truth, because we already know the facts (or they eventually come to light).
Source: Franz, V. H. & von Luxburg, U. (2015). No evidence for unconscious lie detection: A significant difference does not imply accurate classification. Psychological Science 0956797615597333, first published on August 24, 2015.
It is important to forgive a partner for cheating. Forgiveness helps people feel less humiliated, less suspicious and allows individuals to put the incident into context – rather than have it define the relationship.
While forgiving a spouse is helpful, it is not easy to do. New research shows that group therapy can be very effective at helping individuals work through a betrayal. Individuals who participated in therapy after discovering infidelity developed the skills needed to actively deal with problems in their relationships and they greatly improve their outlook on life.
Source: Kazemi M.S. and Javid M.M. (2015). Effect of infidelity therapy on improving mental health of betrayed women. International Journal of Psychology and Counselling, 7(2), 24 – 28.
Infidelity | Relationships
A new study shows that people almost certainly hold irrational beliefs about infidelity in their romantic relationships.
The research found that dating couples strongly disapprove of cheating, yet most couples do not discuss what constitutes infidelity with their partners (and it turns out many couples do not agree on what it means to cheat).
More importantly, although 30% of people had been cheated on before and 40% of people think that the “average” person cheats, fewer than 10% of people thought that their own partner would cheat on them. In other words, people who have been cheated on in the past and think that cheating is fairly widespread still don’t think it will happen to them again. Not exactly a rational point of view.
Even people who cheated on their current partners still held very low estimates that their partner would ever cheat on them.
So what are the factors that explain what appears to be an “optimistic” bias about believing that a partner will be faithful? Trust and disapproval. The more people trust their partners and disapprove of cheating, the less likely people consider the possibility that their partner might stray.
Let’s face it. People are not great at applying logic to their romantic relationships.
Source: Watkins, S. J., & Boon, S. D. (2015). Expectations regarding partner fidelity in dating relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi:10.1177/0265407515574463
Infidelity | Relationships