Project

Global Prevalence: Everyday and Prolific Liars

Goal: With co-researcher Tim Levine, I am building a database of studies that measure lie frequency (i.e., number of lies per a standard unit ... day, week, n-text messages, n-events, etc.). If you have data from a published study, or unpublished data, that you can share for inclusion in this prevalence meta-analysis, please contact me through ResearchGate or directly at serota@oakland.com. Please indicate how you want your data cited.

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Project log

Kim B. Serota
added an update
We are building a broad cross-national and cross-cultural database of lie prevalence studies.
Currently we have (or are expecting) data from the USA, Mexico, Great Britain (with component samples for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Israel, Korea, Japan, and China.
If you have collected lie frequency data in other countries, please let us know. Areas of particular interest include South Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Africa, and South America. We would also welcome data from populations that are more culturally diverse or less well-connected to global social and economic systems.
 
David Brandt
  • 1.16
  • Northern Kentucky University
I would be grateful if you would be willing to let me join in on this project. If you cannot, I'll try to help in anyway I can.
Randy
 
Kim B. Serota
added 2 research items
Truth-default Theory proposes that the frequency of lying is not normally distributed across the population and that most lies are told by a few prolific liars. A survey with a probability sample examined the frequency of lying among of adults in South Korea. Consistent with theoretical predictions and well-documented prior findings from the United States and Western Europe, South Koreans showed the few prolific liar pattern. Although South Koreans reported lying on average once or twice per day (M = 1.48), the distribution was skewed with a mode of zero and a median of one. Half of the reported lies were told by just 12.4% of the respondents. Distributions for women and men show similar results. Estimates of lies received also exhibited a long-tail distribution. The data add to the pan-cultural support for truth-default theory.
Truth-Default Theory (TDT) predicts that across countries and cultures, a few people tell most of the lies, while a majority of people lie less frequently than average. This prediction, referred to as “a few prolific liars,” is tested in Japan. The study further investigated the extent to which the Dark Triad personality traits predict the frequency of lying. University students ( N = 305) reported how many times they lied in the past 24 hours and answered personality questions. Results indicate that the few prolific liars pattern is evident in Japan thereby advancing TDT. Results also show that Japanese frequent liars tend to have Dark Triad personality traits, but the nature of the findings may be unique to Japan. Results of the generalized linear model suggest that the Dark Triad components of Machiavellianism and psychopathy exacerbate lying behavior by reducing the guilt associated with lying. However, narcissism encourages guilt and therefore inhibits lying behavior with both direct and indirect effects. These narcissism findings appear to contradict prior studies but stem from use of a more appropriate statistical analysis or the Japanese context.
Kim B. Serota
added an update
Data from Japan replicate results from the US and Europe showing that most people are honest and a high proportion of lies are told by a few prolific liars - article with Yasuhiro Daiku and Timothy Levine .
 
Kim B. Serota
added a research item
Testing truth-default theory, individual-level variation in lie frequency was parsed from within-individual day-to-day variation (good/bad lie days) by examining 116,366 lies told by 632 participants over 91 days. As predicted and consistent with prior findings, the distribution was positively skewed. Most participants lied infrequently and most lies were told by a few prolific liars. Approximately three-quarters of participants were consistently low-frequency liars. Across participants, lying comprised 7% of total communication and almost 90% of all lies were little white lies. About 58% of the variance was explained by stable individual differences with approximately 42% of the variance attributable to within-person day-to-day variability. The data were consistent with both the existence of a few prolific liars and good/bad lie days.
Kim B. Serota
added a project goal
With co-researcher Tim Levine, I am building a database of studies that measure lie frequency (i.e., number of lies per a standard unit ... day, week, n-text messages, n-events, etc.). If you have data from a published study, or unpublished data, that you can share for inclusion in this prevalence meta-analysis, please contact me through ResearchGate or directly at serota@oakland.com. Please indicate how you want your data cited.