Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why do we assume that most people lie to benefit themselves?

Recently, I noticed this British Psychological Society article: Are people more honest than we think? I don’t lie as I’m not intelligent enough to remember what I lied about, to whom, and when. A former colleague once joked that our then-boss must have been very, very intelligent (pun intended).

The above must apply to most people. Hence, the outcome of this article makes perfect sense:

“[] these findings do suggest that self-serving dishonesty may not be as common as we think.”

A quote from the British Psychological Society article: Are people more honest than we think?

Perhaps, it’s more interesting to wonder why “most people believe” that “a lack of resources make[s] people more willing to lie to benefit themselves”. In my view, the use of the word believe (ie, a known unknown) is incorrect. The text should have stated “most people assume“.

In other words, why do we assume that other people are more intelligent than us, and that they are able to remember what they lied about, to whom, and when?

Source: my 2019 blog Trust

In order to cooperate with other people, we need to (“must”) trust them.

Our trust relates to their deeds, words and intentions.

Deeds and words are visible and can (often) be verified.

Intentions (eg, good, bad) are invisible and hidden in the depth of the human brain.

Quite possibly, the answer to my question is this one: we trust the intentions of others (ie, good vs bad) like we trust our own intentions (ie, good vs bad).

Some relevant quotes:

  • He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted. Lao Tzu
  • As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved. George MacDonald
  • The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. When you trust, suddenly you become centered. Osho
  • Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Rumi

Would I Lie To You? (1992) by Charles & Eddie
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-artists, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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