You “liked” your friend’s garish blue hair on Facebook. Told your mother-in-law her dry as a desert wind turkey was delectable. What’s so wrong with a little white lie once in awhile?
What Lying Does to Your Brain
White lies may seem harmless, but Nature Neuroscience researchers (“The brain adapts to dishonesty”, Oct. 24, 2016) found our brains actually believe that if you can fool some of the people some of the time, you can fool… You know the rest. Lying gets easier with practice, University College London discovered, because the part of your brain that’s activated when you lie gets less aroused with every fib you tell.
False Memories Are Created This Way
Worst yet, fibbing can lead to manufactured memories. Lies can actually get trapped in the brain’s long-term source memory. Soon enough, the liar forgets it wasn’t real. False memories get created this way: your mind makes up associations. “If I read a string of words to you such as “cake, candy, honey, sugar and later ask you if the word “sweet” was in the list, the chances are good that you’ll think it was,” psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne says. “The sweet words in the list conjure up the category label and now it becomes part of your neural network.” (Psychology Today, May 18, 2010).
Fake News is Real
Fake news travels six times faster than the genuine article. A 2018 study in Science reported the average false story reaches around 1,500 listeners. Repeating a fake story or myth can cause an “illusory truth effect”, in which people begin to believe it because they have heard it so many times.
One Lie Leads to Another
The more lying goes on, the less conflicted your brain feels about it, researchers report. Over 51 per cent of employees have been “stuck in traffic” (aka left home too late to get to work on time) at least once, a CareerBuilder.com 2017 survey reveals.
Best Late for Work Excuses Ever
With thanks to CareerBuilder, The HT Group and Cosmopolitan:
“My fake eyelashes were stuck together.”
We saw through that one.
“An astrologer warned me of a car accident on a major highway, so I took all back roads, making me an hour late.”
You’d think there’d be less traffic
“My dog chewed through my charger overnight. My phone died, and my alarm didn’t go off.”
True story, allegedly.
“The garage door opener remote was broken, and I couldn’t get my car out of the garage.”
Next time, try pulling the little white cord by the garage door. Maybe take a cab or bus.
“My cat was having her kittens and I needed to be there for emotional support.”
No cat, no kittens, but she totally enjoyed the Beyoncé and Jay Z concert.
Eighty-eight per cent of CareerBuilder survey takers wished their start and end times were more flexible. Their excuses stretched the truth.
Worst Mistruths You’ve Ever Heard
1. Albert Einstein failed math.
Einstein aced differential and integral calculus at 15.
2. Gravity was discovered when an apple hit Sir Isaac Newton in the head.
The apple hit the ground, not Isaac.
3. Wet hair can give you a cold in winter.
Only viruses can give you a cold.
4. “Cigarette smoking is no more ‘addictive’ than coffee, tea or Twinkies.”
Tobacco industry executive James R. Johnston told U.S. Congress this one in 1994. At risk of contradicting him, coffee stimulates the brain to feel alert, self-confident and sociable. It also makes you work harder.
5. The Loch Ness monster is real.
The photo of a dinosaur-like creature with a small head and long neck is real. It was taken by big game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell, who made the fake head, glued it to a toy submarine and floated it around the lake.
6. Aliens landed at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. We have video footage to prove it.
The alien shown being autopsied in a 1995 video was made of sheep brains in jelly, chicken entrails and knuckle joints. Filmmakers Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield confessed in 2006 that they had made the cast. Santilli’s inspiration was a U.S. military film he says he viewed in 1992. He wasn’t able to produce it for media because the film “degraded from humidity and heat.”
Who You, Lie?
You wouldn’t tell the court a little white lie, would you? Time to give your head a shake, just in case. Lying in an affidavit could cost you more than it’s worth. That would be perjury, knowingly giving false evidence with intent to mislead a judge or jury. Penalties for lying under oath, in person or in writing, can be up to 14 years.
Make a Virtual Affidavit in Ontario
Get your affidavit notarized from the comfort of home or office with Axess Law’s Ontario virtual notary service. Our licensed Ontario notary publics can witness your signature online via video call and email you a legally notarized original. Remote video conferences can be arranged 7 days a week, day or evening, to suit your schedule. Dial 877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form to make an appointment. Notary publics can meet with you in person at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices.
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Photo by jacqueline macou|Pixabay.