Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and Ben-Gurion University have found that while some people lie a lot, many people are honest most of the time and many are even honest about their lying.
Researchers Rony Halevy, Bruno Verschuere and Shaul Shalvi surveyed 527 people to find out how often they had lied over the past 24 hours.
41 percent of the respondents indicated that they had not lied at all, whereas just 5 percent turned out to be accountable for 40 percent of all of the lies told.
To find out whether the respondents were honest about the frequency of their lying, they were invited to take part in an additional lab test.
They were asked to roll dice and received a sum of money depending on the number they reported having rolled.
Because the researchers were unable to see the actual numbers rolled, participants were free to cheat and report higher numbers.
Participants who had already admitted to lying more frequently also had higher winnings in this dice test, indicating that participants, who said they lie often, did indeed lie often.
Statistically, their scores were so implausible that they are likely to have lied about the numbers they rolled, rather enjoying a series of lucky rolls.
Verschuere said that the fact that participants who indicated lying often actually did lie more often in the dice test demonstrates that they were honest about their dis honesty.
The study is published in Human Communication Research....