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Why do we Lie?


During an interview with Pamela Meyer, CFE, published in the Fraud Magazine, the question was asked:  What makes us lie?

Her answer:  “There is a short answer and a long answer to this question. The short answer is that we lie to provide a good impression.”

The long answer is much more complex:

There are nine strong motives for deception, classified as offensive or defensive. The four offensive ones:

  • To obtain a reward that’s not otherwise easily attainable.
  • To gain advantage over another person or situation.
  • To create a positive impression and win the admiration of others.
  • To exercise powers over others by controlling information.

Now the defensive ones:

  • To avoid being punished or to avoid embarrassment.
  • To protect another person from being punished.
  • To protect yourself from the threat of physical or emotional harm.
  • To get out of an awkward social situation.
  • To maintain privacy.

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