Lying a slippery slope, says new study

Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, according to a new study published by researchers from University College London. The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, provides the first empirical evidence that self-serving lies gradually escalate and reveals how this happens in our brains. Researchers recruited 80 volunteers who took part in a ‘team estimation task’ that involved guessing the number of pennies in a jar and sending their estimates to unseen partners using a computer. This took place in several different scenarios. In the baseline scenario, participants were told to aim at the most accurate estimate, while in other scenarios, over or under-estimating the amount would either benefit the participant at their partner’s expense, benefit both…

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