Does Practicing a Lie Make Us Better at Telling Only That Lie or Lying in General?

First, we need to define the lies: whether we are talking about small lies in daily interactions or big lies in a criminal interrogation. My sense is that for a criminal interrogation, practice would make that specific lie better—e.g., how to cover the suspect’s crimes. For lies in daily life, we cannot practice them because daily interactions are quite flexible; it is difficult to anticipate every scenario and it’s impossible to prepare the lies accordingly. Of course, pathological liars may be different.

So, in short, my own sense is that practice won’t make people better at lies in general.

Xiaoqing Hu is a doctoral candidate in psychology at Northwestern University.

Category: Q&A

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