Why do we lie so often?

Het Algemeen Dagblad
Sophie van der Zee
Erasmus School of Economics

On average, people lie about twice a day. Sophie van der Zee, Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, addresses the question of why people lie so often and so easily in an article published by Het Algemeen Dagblad.

Although a study found that people lie on average twice a day, the actual number may be even higher. ‘Telling afterwards how many times you lied is quite complicated. Often people do not remember it well, partly because they condone it or do not think something is a lie,’ says Van der Zee.

Why do we lie?

Often lies come in the form of telling excuses. The main reason for telling excuses is to get out of something, or avoid a particular topic of conversation. ‘With adults, it is often about social relationships: we want the other person not to worry or to feel good,’ the Assistant Professor adds. 

Disadvantages of excuses

Yet excuses are not always the solution. Although telling an excuse is often easier than telling the truth, we feel very hurt when we catch someone telling a lie. ‘It causes a big dent in our trust in the other person. People generally find honesty very important,’ says Van der Zee. So excuses are often the easy, but not necessarily the right solution.

Assistant professor
More information

You can download the full article from Het Algemeen Dagblad, 4 February 2023, above.

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