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Why People Lie: The Perspectives of Human Nature to Lie

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Selfish lies, too often, precipitate malign corollary. The philosophical doctrines of human nature denote the behavioral complexity of people in terms of lying. Some people lie to exaggerate, some people lie to influence others, some people lie to compete for self-indulgence and personal gain, and some people lie to camouflage their misdeeds. In the light of delving for the fundamental causes of lying, this paper elaborates on the central tenets of human nature vis-a-vis lying and dishonesty. It further elucidates the ethical aspect of lying as to whether people should lie or no – in what circumstances, to what extent – there is leeway for people to lie – not leading to malign corollary.

Human nature

The world’s notorious scholars confirm that lying is part of human nature. As an award-winning writer, Mr. Yudhit Bhattarcharjee, stated in the cover story of National Geographic, ‘scheming and dishonesty are part of what makes us human. Exaggerating the correlation of human nature with the lies, he even epitomizes that of being deceitful is woven into our very fabric; therefore, it is not wrong to say that when a living species lie, she is a human.” Hence, the more a human being gets challenged in proving her/his superiority, her proclivity appears in using her shrewdness – even if it comes in the forms of using her prowess in lying.

A notorious UK-based philosopher Mr. David Livingstone Smith, in his book Why people lie: the evolutionary roots of deception and the unconscious mind states that “when people lie, it is deeply embedded in their subconscious due to the fundamentals of evolution. He accentuates the art of survival lies in the natural ability of a human being to deceive predators. It is unto the quality of human prowess to use their deceiving skills to trump in this world where those who have less ability to lie mostly extinguish out of starvation.’ 

A longtime science writer from Chicago Tribune Mr. Jon Van belabors on “the segregation of human and chimpanzee’s superiority from the other animals by telling lies. He quotes from the researchers’ annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that the best measure of advancement between the living species is the adeptness at lying. Exemplifying the primates’ prowess over the other mammals in lying through which they are the most celebrated world’s masterful deceivers.” 

Why do people lie?

As I have elaborated on, several motives precipitate human beings to lie. Nay, telling lies remain as the fundamental means of advantage for human beings to compete for resources and power, and sometimes, for survival. Many examples specify the criticality of lying in earning notoriety for people. Albeit, it is unto the human beings to contemplate telling lies in what circumstance and to what extent to not dwindle his image as well as to not bring harm to others in the form of moral hazards.

The study conducted by Mr. Battacharjee denotes that there are multiple aspects causing people to lie. The study segregated the nature of human vis-à-vis lying in the forms of circumstances and peoples’ age. The survey reveals people are lying when it comes to protecting themselves – concealing their misdeeds, and circumventing and escaping other people. To promote themselves for the financial gains, personal advantages, inflation of image, and exaggeration or compliment of statements or fables. To influencing others with their sense of altruism, politeness, or malicious deeds. To some unknown reasons, germane of circumventing the reality or pathological.

When it comes to the segregation of lying frequency by age, the study reveals that people between the ages of 13-17 are telling lies the most, followed by those between the ages of 18-44, 9-12, 45-59, 60-77, and 6-8. In terms of percentile, 59% of the people in the age range of 13-17 tell one to five lies a day, while 15% of the age tell more than five lies a day, followed by the 18-44 with the percentile of lies at 45%:9%, 9-12 at 43%:14%, 45-59 at 39%:11%, 60-77 at 34%:10%. The Below chart illustrates the frequency of lying by age in detail. 

Some of the most critical traits of liars, according to the study, are apropos of concealing their misdeeds. In the circumstances, it appears in their shrewdness to raising influential power in the form of (a politician, religious monks, chieftains, and as such). Nay more their ability to forge false or inflating images and impersonation. Sometimes in doing comedies as a prankster, hiding sensitive data as a secret agent, and yearning for something as a feeble person who sees his dreams come true in the form of craving.


Encapsulating this paper, I would like to comply with the fact that is telling lies is part of evolution. Human minds, due to its superiority, are deeply ingrained with telling lies and to some more considerable extent, with dishonesty for the reasons I have elaborated. Given that the planet where we live is all about survival and indication of gestures out of intelligence, smart people always deploys various intelligible means of wit to survive and maintain her superiority for the eons to come.

On the other hand, in the above chart, the volatility of telling lies at the spectrum of the human life cycle provides an obvious connotation on why people lie. As depicted, the higher percentile of people lying occurred at 13-44 age intervals. These years are very critical to human beings as they strive toward prosperity and jotting down a copious amount of accomplishments.

Complying with the fact that telling lies is part of human nature, it will be unto the human beings that in what circumstance, to extents, they may deem necessary to lie. Telling too much selfish lies will always accompany perils to one’s dignity and engulfs her in vanity. The negative ramifications of saying too much lie are many, while at the same time, a human being cannot refrain from it to some degree; therefore, it is wise to have some degree of restrains.


  • Bhattarcharjee, Y. (2017, 06). lying-hoax-false-fibs-science. Retrieved from
  • Jon Van. (1991, 02). Retrieved from
  • Smith, D. L. (2004). Why We lie: The evolutionary roots of deception and the unconscious mind. London: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Yudhit Battarcharjee. (2017, 06). Retrieved from

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Why People Lie: The Perspectives Of Human Nature To Lie. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from
“Why People Lie: The Perspectives Of Human Nature To Lie.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
Why People Lie: The Perspectives Of Human Nature To Lie. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2022].
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