PJ Media

Are Extroverts Better Liars?

I occasionally find something of interest in my trade magazine–span style=”font-style:italic;”Monitor on Psychology/span–that is worth sharing. In a section entitled “Science Watch,” I found a href=”http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan08/liar.html”an informative article/a entitled, “Liar, liar, neurons fire” about how as we get older, we often learn to lie more convincingly. The article also points out that extroverts and the socially adroit are better liars:br /br /blockquoteGombos found that lying places a high cognitive load on a person’s executive functioning, especially working memory and decision-making. Just as Sam Rayburn implied, if you tell a lie, you have to keep careful track of what you say. But some people are naturally better at this than others. Gombos cites some earlier research by British psychologist Aldert Vrij that shows that “socially adroit” people make better liars.br /br /”People who are natural actors are especially good at lying because of their abilities at social control and role-playing,” Gombos says. “And extroverts lie more often—and better—than shy people.”br /br /Gombos thinks it may have something to do with people’s ability to mentally detach themselves from the truth while telling the lie.br /br /”If they believe the lie, it’s easier to be convincing,” Gombos says. “I think it really underscores just how complex lying can be.”/blockquotebr /br /What I find puzzling is that our society often rewards those who are extroverts who are good at manipulating people over those who are shy but honest. Think about it, a good looking man or woman who is an extrovert gets away with a lot more than the rest of us who are average looking and more reserved. It should be the reverse.