6 TED Talks That Will Change the Way You Think About Lying

6 TED Talks That Will Change the Way You Think About Lying

Photo by Steve Jurvetson licensed by CC BY 2.0

Everyone lies. Whether it’s a little white lie to your mom about how that precious vase really broke, or a bigger lie to your professor as to why you missed test day, everyone does it. The question is, why? There are obvious answers, such as the truth being too harsh or the lie helps your life while leaving the person you’re lying to unaffected. However, these are just excuses. There’s a lot more to lying than just fudging the truth a bit. Here are six TED Talks that will give you a different perspective on lying:

1. How to Spot a Liar by Pamela Meyer

As the title implies, Meyer explains the mannerisms of liars. Habits, ticks, and other manners are ways in which one can identify a liar.

2. The Future of Lying by Jeff Hancock

Counter to Meyer’s point of view on honesty, Hancock believes that little white lies will keep us more honest than not. He states that while we may tell many small lies, we tell them to protect and preserve our relationships. The ambiguity of speaking online allows us to feel more free to be ourselves.

3. The Magic Truth and Lies (and iPods) by Marco Tempest

Through a spectacular show of art through technology, Tempest flawlessly seams the idea of lying as a form of self-deception in art. Not only is his speech interesting, and gives yet another perspective to lying, but his “magic” tricks that use the three iPods are also very intriguing to watch.

4. Our Buggy Moral Code by Dan Ariely

Like I said, there are obvious reasons as to why we lie. However, it’s really not that simple. Ariely explains the various reasons we have for lying, and the ways that we’re influenced by those lies. Lying, or being lied to, is not as simple as we believe.

5. The Pattern Behind Self-Deception by Michael Shermer

One thing we forget about lying is that we often lie to ourselves. It’s a complex idea, to tell ourselves a blatant lie and believe it too. However, we all do it; whether it’s for our own mental health or not is a matter of what lie we’re telling ourselves. Shermer explains the two most basic reasons as to why we deceive ourselves.

6. Can You Really Tell If a Kid is Lying? by Kang Lee

I found this TED Talk particularly interesting. There’s a social stereotype that children are pure, innocent, and must be protected at all costs. However, how innocent are children, really? They may not know or understand adult concepts, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t understand the world around them in their own way. So, when a kid speaks to you, they must be telling the truth. Right? Wrong.

Kids, as innocent as they may seem, know when telling the truth will get them scolded and will lie to try and save themselves from the reprimand. With that in mind, Lee explains that all of this might not actually be a bad thing.

Related: 5 Inspirational TED Talks to Get You Through the Week



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