What Lying Looks Like Across the U.S.
But what is a lie? And are they all created equal? It appears that opinions differ on answers to those questions. Especially when it comes to those “little white lies.” A significant portion of Americans, about 1 in 4 (24%), do not consider these seemingly harmless fibs as lies at all, suggesting a certain level of acceptance or leniency towards minor deceptions in daily interactions.
What's also striking is Americans' confidence in their ability to deceive even the most sophisticated technology designed to detect lies. Approximately 19% of survey respondents are bold enough to believe they could successfully outwit a lie detector test. Interestingly, this confidence varies between genders, with 23% of men expressing such belief compared to only 15% of women.
Once you tell a lie, it can be challenging to back out of it. A significant majority, 46%, agree with this sentiment and would rather perpetuate a lie than come clean with the truth.
In fact, another 19% of Americans admitted that they are keeping up a lie right now!
When money is involved, honesty can sometimes take a backseat. Over one-third of Americans (36%) admitted to being more likely to lie when financial matters are at stake. On the other hand, a significant majority of 79% stated that they are more inclined to lie if they believe it would benefit the other person.
Similarly, 27% of Americans confessed to lying on their resume or during an interview to secure a new job. Interestingly, age seems to play a role in the likelihood of corporate coaxing, with 35% of respondents aged 25 to 40 admitting to this behavior, while only 16% of those aged 57 and above confessed to the same.
Finally, getting out of an unwanted social engagement is the most common reason for lying in the country. A significant majority, 68% of Americans, admitted to being likely to lie to get out of a social event, with only 17% claiming they would be unlikely to resort to such measures.