Study: men lie more than women

Lies: a tendency to dishonesty depends on the gender and the age

“Honesty is the best policy”: This saying probably best expressed how important honesty is to the most people. However, some people find it harder than others, to always tell the truth. In one study, it was shown that men are more likely to lie than women.

Not all of the take it honest

Honesty plays in the social and economic life in a Central role. Without it, promises are not met or contracts are not fulfilled. In scientific tests showed that it would take all the people in the various life situations with honesty, equally seriously. So scientists at the universities of Regensburg and Hamburg, years ago, reported on an Experiment in which it was found that women in groups are more honest, while men in groups, the lie is reinforced. In a new study showed that the tendency to dishonesty in the so-called “strong sex” is already more pronounced.

Personal advantages

Of the cheating the Tax return up to the major corruption lies people scandals – again and again, in order to gain personal benefits.

In experimental studies, investigating the factors that turn people into liars.

Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institute for educational research and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have now performed an extensive meta-analysis of the lies and the findings from 565 studies.

According to a report by the Institute, the results show, among other things, that the tendency depends on age and gender.

The study was published recently in the journal “Psychological Bulletin”.

Personal factors and environmental factors play a role

The fundamental conflict in every lie, the choice is. Either one is honest and waives benefits or to lie, for example, to more money, Power or get fame.

Why people lie, depends on personal factors and environmental factors. To investigate this empirically, has been reproduced in many published studies of this fundamental conflict in the form of simple experiments, for example in the Form of the coin toss game.

In this case subjects toss a coin in, without someone watching. The result you give, for example, via the Computer to the experimenter. If heads, you get the money, tails, you go blank.

If this attempt is more often, and with many subjects, carried out, would have to be the ratio of head to total fifty-fifty.

But almost all of the studies that the participants will call more often head as a number. That is to say: at Least some of the subjects lie, in order to earn more money””.

Data from 565 studies analyzed

In the last ten years, researchers have conducted numerous studies with this or a similar basic structure to examine the various factors that lead to dishonesty.

Lying to nuns, more often than prison inmates? You lie more online or on the phone? You’re lying if you expected more money?

For the current meta-analysis, researchers from Germany and Israel have taken into consideration the data of 565 studies with a total of 44.050 subjects.

“Although there are numerous studies that examine who, when and why lie, the results are not clear, sometimes even contradictory,” explains Philipp Gerlach, Associate scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute for research in education.

“By using the large amount of data from all the studies, we can now take to some of the factors clearer statements,” says the first author of the study.

Younger people lie more often

In the investigated experiments, a total of 42 percent of men and 38 percent of women have lied.

The presumption that men are more likely to lie than women, was confirmed, even if the difference is only slight.

It was also found that younger people are more likely to have lied than older. The information suggests that the probability that someone is lying fell, and with each year, by 0.28 percentage points.

While it is a 20-Year-old at about 47 percent, is at a 60-Year-old to just 36 percent.

Other, oft-discussed factors, could not confirm the study, however. So, the researchers found, for example, no evidence that economic students are most frequently lies.

Structural differences in the experimental set-up affected subjects

According to the figures available were published for the meta-analysis, as well as not-yet-published studies from the field of psychology as well as Economics.

This Work investigated the extent of dishonesty with the help of a few, but very different experimental arrangements. In some of the dishonesty related to a random result, as in the case of the coin toss game.

In other dishonesty related to the extent of one’s own skills, for example, whether a mathematical puzzle has been solved correctly.

The researchers were able to show that such structural differences in the experimental setup influence the behavior of the subjects and thus lead to different results about the extent of the dishonesty.

“You want to know to what extent people are inclined to behave dishonestly, it is necessary to consider what experimental situations and try to face people,” says Ralph Hertwig, the Director of the research area “Adaptive rationality” at the Max-Planck-Institute for research in education.

“This suggests that dishonesty is just the property of a Person, but systematically with the conditions of the environment plays together,” said the expert. (ad)