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Can we trust our professors?

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First off, I am kidding, of course I think we can trust our professors, but my marketing professor pointed me to an article last week that may suggest the opposite:

On February 19th, Shankar Vedantam wrote “Almost Everyone Lies” for the Washington Post. Robert Feldman, a University of Massachusetts social psychologist, says that everyone lies. “Experiments have found that ordinary people tell about two lies every 10 minutes, with some people getting in as many as a dozen falsehoods in that period.”

What I found even more stunning is that Feldman said that liars are often more popular than honest people. He attributes this to the fact that people most commonly lie out of kindness. Feldman’s point makes sense, look at popular politicians. They constantly change their opinions as soon as the public’s opinion changes without serious repercussions.

Now, Feldman also says that “It is not lying that makes us popular, but knowing when to say something and not be completely blunt is in fact a social skill. We don’t want to hear hurtful things, so a person who is totally honest may not be as popular as someone who lies. This is not to say lying is a good thing, but it is the way the social world operates.”

Admittedly, how many of us have said: “The muffins are delicious” or “I love your gift” when really we didn’t?!


Written by markusw

February 24, 2007 at 7:46 pm

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