A new study tries to understand the mechanism of lying, and suggests that how you remember a lie may be impacted profoundly by how you lie. This has come into light after a new study by Louisiana State University’s Associate Professor Sean Lane and former graduate student Kathleen Vieria.
The study examines two kinds of lies, one being false deceptions and the other false denials, and also the different cognitive machinery that we use to record and retrieve them. It was found that the lies were in fact easier for the test’s subjects to remember.
Sean Lane said, “If I'm going to lie to you about something that didn't happen, I'm going to have to keep a lot of different constraints in mind, as the constructive process lays down records of our details and descriptions, it also lays down information about the process of construction." The professor also mentioned that the false descriptions remain more easily accessible and more durable in the memories because they tax the cognitive power of the liar.
Hence, false descriptions require you to work towards it and we remember them because it took effort to create them. When subjects in Lane's study were asked to recall their own false descriptions 48 hours later, their memories were largely accurate.
However, the same is not true for false denials. This kind of lie -- denying something that actually happened -- is often brief, and its cognitive demand is therefore much smaller.
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