From porkies to whoppers: over time lies may desensitise brain to dishonesty

By: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent | From porkies to whoppers: over time lies may desensitise brain to dishonesty | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Study suggests that telling small lies makes changes to the brain’s response to lying, rather than being a case of one lie necessitating another to maintain a story

American fraudster Frank Abagnale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can, started out swindling his father out of small change for date money and ended up impersonating an airline pilot, despite the admission that he “couldn’t fly a kite”.

Now scientists have uncovered an explanation for why telling a few porkies has the tendency to spiral out of control. The study suggests that telling small, insignificant lies desensitises the brain to dishonesty, meaning that lying gradually feels more comfortable over time.

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