by BM DePaulo · 1998 · Cited by 851 — We predicted, then, that people will lie less often in close relationships than in casual ones. Also, because lie telling vio- lates close relationship ideals such as
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Everyday Lies in Close and Casual Relationships Bella M. DePaulo University of Virginia Deborah A. Kashy Texas A&M University In 2 diary studies, 77 undergraduates and 70 community members recorded their social interactions and lies for a week. Because lying violates the openness and authenticity that people value in their close relationships, we predicted (and found) that participants would tell fewer lies per social interaction to the people to whom they felt closer and would feel more uncomfortable when they did lie to those people. Because altruistic lies can communicate caring, we also predicted (and found) that relatively more of the lies told to best friends and friends would be altruistic than self- serving, whereas the reverse would be true of lies told to acquaintances and strangers. Also consistent with predictions, lies told to closer partners were more often discovered. To understand the role of lying in close and casual relation- ships, it may be important to understand both the nature of the lies that are told in everyday life and the nature of close relationships. Over the past several decades, a handful of studies of lying in everyday life have been published (Camden, Mot- ley, & Wilson, 1984; DePaulo, Kashy, Kirkendol, Wyer, & Ep- stein, 1996; Hample, 1980; Lippard, 1988; Metts, 1989; Turner, Edgley, & Olmstead, 1975), including most recently, the first such investigation to include a separate sample of adult partici- pants who were not all college students (DePaulo et al., 1996). These studies have greatly increased our knowledge of the na- ture and frequency of lying in everyday life. They indicate that lying is a fact of daily life. In the DePaulo et al. (1996) studies, for example, in which lying was defined as “intentionally [try- ing] to mislead someone” (p. 981 ), the demographically diverse participants from the community reported telling an average of one lie in every five of their social interactions, and the college student participants reported telling a lie in every three interac- tions. In both groups, the participants were about twice as likely to tell lies that benefited themselves in some way (self-centered lies) than to tell lies that benefited others (other-oriented, or altruistic, lies). Of the self-centered lies, some of them were Bella M. DePaulo, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; Deborah A. Kashy, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University. This investigation was supported in part by a Research Scientist De- velopment Award from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and by an R01 Award from NIMH. We thank Tricia Chupkovitch, Alexandra Hope Dahne, Jennifer Epstein, Joan Hairfield, Susan Kirkendol, Jose Macaranas, Carol Prescott, Sondra Reeves, Carissa Smith, Laura “luck, Hank Wells, and Melissa Wyer for their help with this research. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bella M. DePaulo, Department of Psychology, Gilmer Hall, University of Vir- ginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903. Electronic mail may be sent via the Internet to told in the pursuit of material gain or personal convenience, but far more of them were told for psychological reasons. By their own accounts, people told their everyday lies to try to make themselves look better or feel better, to protect themselves from embarrassment or disapproval or from having their feelings hurt, and to try to gain the esteem and affection of other people. Although participants told many lies about their achievements and their failures, their actions, plans, and whereabouts, and the reasons for their actions or inactions, the lies that they told most often were about their feelings. When people told other-oriented lies, they often pretended to feel more positively than they really did feel, and they often claimed to agree with other people when in fact they disagreed. In short, in everyday life, people lie about what they are really like and how they really do feel. Rates of Lying in Close and Casual Relationships When people talk about what is special to them about their personal relationships and about what closeness means to them (Argyle & Henderson, 1984; Maxwell, 1985; Parks & Floyd, 1996), they underscore the importance of talking, disclosing, and confiding–of “telling each other everything” (Parks & Floyd, 1996, p. 94) and of trusting that their confidences will be kept. They also describe issues of authenticity, noting that they can show their true feelings and be themselves, with no need to try to impress the other person. Although these self- reports may be idealized, the literature does offer some support for them. For example, people are more self-enhancing with strangers than with friends (Tice, Butler, Muraven, & Stillwell, 1995). Also, the relationship qualities that people value predict important relational outcomes. For example, self-disclosure pre- dicts marital satisfaction (Hendrick, 1981), and trusting and confiding are positively correlated with the quality and endur- ingness of friendships (Argyle & Henderson, 1984). People’s reports of what they value in their relationships also dovetail with important theoretical statements about the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1998, Vol. 74, No. 1, 63-79 Copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0022-3514/98/$3.00 63

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64 DEPAULO AND KASHY significance of personal relationships. For example, Deci and Ryan (1991) believe that there are three primary psychological needs, and one of them is the need for relatedness (see also Baumeister & Leary, 1995 ). This need “encompasses a person’s strivings to relate to and care for others, [and] to feel that those others are relating authentically to one’s self” (p. 243). Similarly, Reis and Patrick (1996) argued for the profound im- portance of intimacy to human well-being. They define intimacy as “an interactive process in which, as a result of a partner’s response, individuals come to feel understood, validated, and cared for” (p. 536). From attachment theory comes the proposi- tion that “humans possess basic needs that are naturally satisfied by social relationships” (Hazan & Shaver, 1994, p. 10), and that the most basic need is for felt security. Feelings of security, in turn, depend largely on the answer to the question “Can I trust my partner to be available and responsive to my needs?” (p. 13). Trustworthy partners, according to Holmes and Rempel (1989), are dependable people who can be counted on to be honest and benevolent. None of these theoretical perspectives offers explicit predic- tions about the rates of everyday lying in close and casual rela- tionships. However, the prediction that lying occurs at lower rates in closer relationships would probably be consistent with all of them. Lying is by definition an inauthentic communication; as such, it cannot serve the need for genuine relatedness. When people lie about who they really are and how they really feel, they cannot elicit understanding or validation of the person they really believe themselves to be. They also cannot easily serve as targets of secure attachment, because people who lie espe- cially often to promote their own needs are unlikely to be trusted to be responsive to other people’s needs. We predicted, then, that people will lie less often in close relationships than in casual ones. Also, because lie telling vio- lates close relationship ideals such as openness and authenticity, we predicted that when people do lie to their close relationship partners, they will feel more distressed than when they lie to partners in casual relationships (Miller, Mongeau, & Sleight, 1986). They will feel more uncomfortable as they anticipate telling the lie, as they actually tell it, and just after they have told it. Kinds of Lies in Close and Casual Relationships The theoretical perspectives we described underscore the sig- nificance of authenticity and trustworthiness in close personal relationships. But they also point to the importance of caring and emotional support. One way that people might try to com- municate their love and concern for the important people in their lives is by telling altruistic lies. They compliment them, pretend to agree with them, and claim to understand. The meta-messages of these lies may be supportive rather than threatening (cf. Ruesch & Bateson, 1951; Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson, 1967). By lying, the liars may be saying that they care more about the other person’s feelings than the truth. Our initial prediction was that people will tell fewer lies to closer relationship partners. We added a second prediction: When people do lie to partners in close relationships, relatively more of the lies will be altruistic than self-centered. Beyond Closeness: Other Predictors of Lying In addition to the emotional considerations we have de- scribed, there may also be practical reasons for a lower rate of everyday lying in closer relationships than in more casual ones. For example, the possibilities for successful deception in close personal relationships may be constrained by the knowledge that the partners share about each other. A college student can try to convince a casual acquaintance that his father is an ambas- sador (as one of ours did), but the same lie will not succeed with a close friend who already knows that the “ambassador” is actually a bartender. Relationship partners who have known each other for a long time may be especially likely to have, or to be perceived as having, detailed knowledge about each other’s lives that would discourage many attempts at deceit. In some instances, partners do not already know the truth that a person might be tempted to cover with a lie. Even in those cases, however, people may fear that their partners are more likely to discover the truth eventually if they are close partners, who typically interact frequently (Nezlek, 1995), than if they are only casual relationship partners. People who interact with each other on a regular basis may be vulnerable to this fear of eventual detection even if they are not emotionally close to each other. These arguments predict that people will less often attempt to lie to their close relationship partners, to people they have known for a long time, and to people with whom they interact frequently. It also follows that when lies are told to such people, those lies are more likely eventually to be discovered. Objective evidence will surface that will betray the deceits, or the liars will become entangled in their own webs of deceit as they struggle to keep their stories consistent. People in close relationships may also fear that their lies are more likely to be immediately transparent to close relationship partners, who may have developed a special sensitivity to their nonverbal and verbal clues to deceit, than to casual partners (Anderson, Ansfield, & DePaulo, in press). Regardless of whether this fear is justified, it can act as a deterrent to lying to close relationship partners. When people do lie to close part- ners, they may be less likely to feel confident that their partners believed their lies. In the present research, we asked participants to indicate whether they thought each lie had been believed at the time that they told it. Then, a week or so later, we asked whether the lie bad been discovered. Relationship partners are not always seekers of the truth. As Ekman and Friesen (1969) pointed out several decades ago, peo- ple can collaborate to maintain rather than discover each other’s lies. Partners in close relationships, more so than those in casual ones, come to know each other’s sensitive and taboo topics (Bax- ter & Wilmot, 1985). By steering clear of such treacherous turf, they can reduce their partners’ temptations to lie. Other processes could also be important in predicting rates of lying in different relationships. For example, Millar and Tesser (1988) hypothesized that people lie when their behavior violates the expectations that another person holds for them. They found support for their predictions in role-play studies of parent-child and employee-employer relationships. The violated expecta- tions model generates a prediction at odds with our own: Be- cause close relationship partners hold more expectations about

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LYING IN RELATIONSHIPS 65 each other than do casual partners, the rate of lying in close relationships might be higher. On the other hand, the expecta- tions we hold about close relationship partners may be more realistic than the expectations we hold for acquaintances and strangers, and therefore they may be less likely to be violated. Varieties of Closeness When the study of personal relationships was just beginning, closeness was often operationalized in terms of different rela- tionship categories (Berscheid, Snyder, & Omoto, 1989a). Mar- riages and parent-child relationships, for example, were some- times assumed to be “closer” relationships than friendships. These kinds of assumptions were later questioned, as it became apparent that particular relationships within categories vary greatly in closeness, and that relationship categories vary in many important ways other than closeness. For example, roman- tic relationships may be uniquely characterized by certain kinds of self-presentational concerns. Relationships that are asymmet- rical in power, such as those between parents and children, may also differ importantly in deception-relevant ways from those that are more symmetrical. For instance, people who have less power may be tempted to lie to those who have more power in order to obtain the resources they control (cf. Hample, 1980; Lippard, 1988). In the present research, participants identified each of their interaction partners as a stranger, acquaintance, friend, best friend, romantic partner, spouse, parent, child, sibling, or other relative. To test our hypothesis that fewer lies would be told to closer relationship partners, we first considered only those relationship categories that we believed to vary primarily in closeness: strangers, acquaintances, friends, and best friends. Thus, romantic partners, spouses, parents, and other family members were not included. Our prediction would be supported if participants lied most frequently to strangers, then acquain- tances, and least frequently to best friends. Second, we used three measures of closeness (described below) that are indepen- dent of relationship type, and we examined the relationship between closeness and rate of lying in analyses that included all dyadic interaction partners. Third, we tested the same links between closeness and rate of lying within each of the major relationship categories (friends, family members, acquaintances and strangers, romantic partners). In this most stringent test of our hypothesis, closeness and rate of lying should have been inversely related within every major relationship category. Relationship researchers often assess “subjective closeness,” which is a person’s subjective emotional experience of “feeling close” to someone. This is usually measured on scales that ask people directly how close they feel to each of their partners. We used such a measure in the present research. Still another measure of closeness was derived theoretically from interdependence theory. Kelley et al. (1983) hypothesized that close relationships are characterized by frequent and diverse interactions that endure over time and in which the partners influence each other’s behavior and values. Berscheid, Snyder, and Omoto (1989b) developed the Relationship Closeness In- ventory (RCI) to measure the frequency, strength, and diversity components of interdependence, which they summed together to form their overall index of closeness (they considered the duration of the relationship separately). The RCI is a measure of “behaving close,” which is distinguishable from the subjective measures of “feeling close” (Aron, Aron, & Smollan, 1992). We did not use the RCI because it had not yet been published when our data were collected. However, we did have access to information similar to that generated by the RCI frequency subscale in the form of the number of dyadic social interactions participants reported with each of their partners (using a version of the Rochester Interaction Record [ RIR ] ; Wheeler & Nezlek, 1977). This measure is probably a more accurate measure of interaction frequency than the RCI frequency subscale, which is based on participants’ retrospective estimates of the amount of time they spent alone with each partner over the past week (Reis & Wheeler, 1991 ). To assess endurance over time, we included the standard mea- sure of relationship duration (participants’ reports of the number of months or years they had known each partner). Thus, the present study measured three relationship qualities (subjective closeness, frequency of interaction, and relationship duration) as well as relationship type (e.g., friend, spouse). We thought that all three operationalizations of closeness would predict rates of lying: People would lie less often to those relationship partners to whom they feel especially close, to those with whom they interact more frequently, and to those whom they have known for a longer time. However, because we believed that it is the emotional quality of close relationships that most strongly deters lying, we predicted that subjective emotional closeness would be the most important predictor. When the predictive power of all three types of closeness were tested together (by entering them into a simultaneous regression equation), only subjective closeness would remain a significant (negative) predictor of lying. The Present Research Our data are from two diary studies of lying in everyday life that were first described by DePaulo et al. (1996) and Kashy and DePaulo (1996). DePaulo et al. (1996) presented a profile of everyday lying (e.g., the types of lies that were told, the reasons for lying, gender differences in lying), and Kashy and DePaulo (1996) reported personality predictors of lying in ev- eryday life. The present report represents a unique contribution in its focus on everyday lying in different kinds of relationships. In the two studies, 77 college students and 70 people from the community recorded all of their social interactions and all of the lies that they told during those social interactions every day for a week. Participants described each lie and the reason for telling it in their own words, and they also rated the charac- teristics of their lie-telling experiences (such as how distressed they felt while telling it and whether they thought it was be- lieved). At the end of the week, they described the nature and closeness of their relationship with each of the persons with whom they had interacted, and they indicated for each lie whether or not it had been discovered. The present research builds on previous research on lying in relationships in several important ways. First, it is more compre- hensive than previous studies in which participants selected just one particular lie (Hample, 1980) or conversation (Turner et al., 1975) or situation (Metts, 1989) to describe. Second, it is

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66 DEPAULO AND KASHY the only research to include a measure of participants’ opportu- nities to lie, that is, the number of social interactions they had with each partner. Previous studies that reported that people told more lies to close relationship partners than to casual ones (Hample, 1980; Lippard, 1988) are difficult to interpret, in that people interact more frequently with close partners than with casual ones (Nezlek, 1995). Rate of lying (number of lies per number of social interactions) is a more appropriate measure. Third, the community member sample described in this report (and in DePaulo et al., 1996, and Kashy & DePaulo, 1996) is the only group we know of in the literature on lying in everyday life that is not a group consisting solely of college students. ~ Finally, the present research is especially comprehensive in the number of ways that relationships are assessed. Relationship type was documented, and patterns of lying were compared across the different types. Closeness was operationalized in three ways: as subjective closeness, frequency of interacting, and relationship longevity. We examined the links with lying of all three operationalizations of closeness in analyses that in- cluded all relationship partners; we also looked at the same links within major relationship categories, such as family and friends. Method Participants Participants in Study 1 were 30 male and 47 female undergraduates who participated in partial fulfillment of a requirement for an introduc- tory psychology course. They ranged in age from 17 to 22 (M = 18.69, SD = 0.91). Sixty-four were White, 9 were Black, and 4 described themselves as “other” than White or Black. The 77 participants do not include one man who completed only 2 days of the 7-day record keeping. Participants in Study 2 were 30 men and 40 women who were re- cruited by means of advertisements posted at a local community college, from lists of people who had taken continuing education courses, and from lists of names selected randomly from the area telephone directory. They ranged in age from 18 to 71 (M = 34.19, SD = 12.49). Sixty- seven were White and 3 were Black. Other demographic information is based on 53 of the 70 participants, as 17 were inadvertently given the undergraduate demographic questionnaire, which included no questions about employment, education, marital status, or children. Of those who did answer the more extended questionnaire, 81% were employed, 57% were married, 47% had children, and 34% had no more than a high school education. The 70 participants in Study 2 do not include one man who said that he had recorded only about 10% of his social interac- tions and 5% of his lies. Procedure There were three phases to the study: an initial introductory session, the 7-day recording period, and a final phase during which participants answered additional questions about their lies and their experiences in the study. Phase 1: Introduction to the study. The Study 1 participants and the participants from Study 2 who were recruited from the community college initially had responded to notices posted on a bulletin board in an academic building describing the research. The study was described as one in which they would keep records of their social interactions and communications for 7 days. In Study 1, the notice indicated that participants would receive partial course credit for their participation, and in Study 2, the notice indicated that participants would be paid $35. Study 2 participants recruited from continuing education lists or from the phone directory were sent letters with the same description of the research; then they were contacted by telephone about a week later. All participants attended an initial 90-min meeting in which the study and the procedures were explained. In Study 1, these were group sessions attended by 10-15 participants at a time. The Study 2 sessions were conducted individually or in small groups. Participants were told that they would be recording all of their social interactions and all of the lies that they told during those interactions every day for a week. It was noted that their role in this research was especially important in that they would be the observers and recorders of their own behavior. The investigators explained that they did not condone or condemn lying; rather, they were studying it scientifically and trying to learn the answers to some of the most fundamental ques- tions about the phenomenon. They encouraged the participants to think of the study as an unusual opportunity to learn more about themselves. The key terms were then explained to the participants. A “social interaction” was defined as “any exchange between you and another person that lasts 10 minutes or more.., in which the behavior of one person is in response to the behavior of another person.” This definition, plus many of the examples used to clarify the definition, were taken or adapted from the ones used in the initial studies involving the RIR (for example, Wheeler & Nezlek, 1977). We added an exception to the 10- min rule, which was that for any interaction in which participants told a lie, they were also to fill out a social interaction record, even if the interaction lasted less than 10 rain. (For the college students and commu- nity members respectively, 8.9% and 10.5% of their lies were told during interactions lasting 10 min or less.) Copies of our adaptation of the RIR (see description below) were then distributed, and participants were told how to complete the form. To explain what participants should count as a lie, we noted that “a lie occurs any time you intentionally try to mislead someone. Both the intent to deceive and the actual deception must occur.” Many exam- ples were given. Participants were urged to record all lies, no matter how big or how small. They were instructed that if they were uncertain as to whether a particular communication qualified as a lie, they should record it. (At the end of the study, two coders independently read through all of the lie diaries and agreed on the few that did not meet the definition and were therefore excluded.) The definition that we gave participants was interpreted broadly as encompassing any intentional attempts to mislead, including even nonverbal ones. The only example of a lie they were asked not to record was saying “fine” in response to perfunctory “How are you?” questions. Participants completed one deception record for every lie that they told. Sample records (see description below) were distributed, and the investigators explained how they were to be completed. Participants were instructed to fill out the forms (social interaction records and deception records) at least once a day; it was suggested that they set aside a particular time or set of times to do so. During the week-long data collection period, the forms were collected by the experimenters at several different times. Participants were also given pocket-sized notebooks and were urged to carry them at all times. They were encouraged to use these notebooks to write down reminders of their social interactions and their lies as soon as possible after the events had taken place. Then they could use their notes as an aid to their memory if they did not complete their social interaction and deception records until later in the day. The notebooks were not collected. Several additional steps were taken to encourage the reporting of all lies. First, participants were told that if they did not wish to reveal the contents of any of the lies that they told, then in the space on the deception record in which they were to describe their lie, they could 1 The college students in the Metts (1989) study included adult reentry students, but they constituted less than a third of the sample and their data were not analyzed separately.

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LYING IN RELATIONSHIPS 67 instead write “rather not say.” That way, we, as investigators, would still know that a lie was told, and we would know other information about the lie and the social interaction in which it was told (from the other parts of the records that the participants completed). The content of 11 of the lies in the college student sample and none of the lies in the community sample were described as “rather not say.” Second, we instructed participants that if they did not completely remember every- thing about a lie that they told, they should still fill out as much of the information on the form as they could. Third, we told participants that if they remembered a lie from a previous day that they had not recorded, they should still turn in a form for that lie. The importance of accuracy and conscientiousness in keeping the records was emphasized throughout the session. To assure anonymity, we allowed participants to choose their own identification number, which they used throughout the study. Participants did not write their names on any of the forms. At the end of the session, the investigators reviewed the amount of time it would take to complete all phases of the study and encouraged participants to terminate their participation at that point if they no longer had the interest or the time to participate fully. They were offered credit or payment even if they chose not to continue. All participants elected to continue. Before they left, participants were given typed copies of all of the instructions and definitions they had been given during the session. This instruction booklet also included names and phone numbers of members of the research team with whom they had met and whom they could contact at any time with any questions or concerns they might have. Appointments were made with each participant to meet with a researcher in approximately 3 days to drop off completed social interaction forms and check on any questions related to the study. Researchers were avail- able to collect forms at other times as well. Appointments were also made with all of the Study 1 participants to return once more at the end of the 7-day recording period to complete a final set of measures. Study 2 participants were shown an envelope and inslxuctions that would be mailed to them at the end of the study so that they could complete the same measures. Phase 2: Recording social interactions and lies. During the 7-day recording period, which began the day after the introductory session, participants completed a social interaction record for all of their social interactions and a deception record for all of their lies. The social interaction record was adapted from the RIR (Wheeler & Nezlek, 1977). On each record, participants wrote their identification num- ber and the date, time, and duration of the interaction. For interactions involving three or fewer other people, participants recorded the initials and the gender of each of those persons. (They kept a list of the initials of each of their interaction partners in the small notebooks that we gave them so that they could remember the initials and use the same ones for any given person each time.) For interactions with more than three other people, participants simply recorded the total number of male and female interac- tion partners. Participants then completed several scales describing the quality of the interaction. (These social interaction variables, described in DePaulo et’al., 1996, are not relevant to the present report.) Printed on the same page as the social interaction record was the deception record. Participants again indicated the initials and gender of the person(s) to whom they told their lie if there were three targets of the lie or fewer, or the number of males and number of females if there were more than three targets. (This information was the same as for the social interaction record except when participants directed their lie to a subset of the people involved in the interaction.) Below this was a blank space for participants to “briefly describe the lie” and another blank space for them to “briefly describe the reason why you told the lie.” Next were nine 9-point rating scales. Participants rated their degree of planning of the lie on a scale with endpoints labeled completely sponta- neous ( 1 ) and carefully planned in advance (9). Then they indicated the importance of not getting caught, from very unimportant ( 1 ) to very important (9). On the next three scales, they reported their feelings before the lie was told, while telling the lie, and after the lie was told, on a scale with endpoints labeled very comfortable ( 1 ) and very uncom- fortable (9). They also rated the seriousness of the lie: very trivial, unimportant lie (1), to very serious, important lie (9); and the target’s reaction to the lie: didn’t believe me at all ( 1 ), to believed me completely (9). Finally, they answered two questions–“How would the target have felt if you told the truth instead of the lie?” and “How would you have felt if you told the truth instead of a lie?”–on scales with end- points labeled much better if I told the truth ( 1 ) and much worse if I told the truth (9). The three ratings of comfort and the measure of the target’s belief are of primary importance to the present report. 2 Phase 3: Additional measures. After the completion of the 7-day recording period, participants were asked to respond to one more set of measures. First, we gave them a list of all of the initials they had used to refer to all of their interaction partners, and we asked them to fill out a separate form for each of those persons. On the forms, participants indicated the person’s age and gender. Then they completed several 15- point scales. The ones relevant to this report were responses to the questions “How close do you feel to this person?” and “How much do you like this person?” Participants’ responses to those two questions were highly correlated (college: r = .84, p < .001; community: r = .81, p < .001), and so they were averaged to form our measure of closeness. Participants also indicated how long they had known the person, in years, months, and days. This was our measure of the duration of the relationship. Because the data were highly skewed, we used a square root transformation of the total number of months in our analyses. Finally, participants checked off the particular category that best de- scribed their relationship with the person (best friend, friend, acquain- tance, stranger, parent or guardian, spouse, child, brother or sister, other relative), and they indicated whether the relationship was romantic or not romantic. Next, participants were given photocopies of each of the deception records they had completed. They answered two questions about each lie: "Was this lie ever discovered?" (participants checked one answer: no, not yet; don't know; or yes) and "If you could relive this social interaction, would you tell the lie again?" (participants checked either no or yes). The results of the first question are described in this report. Participants also completed a postquestionnaire, which is not relevant to the present report (described in DePaulo et al., 1996). The Study 1 participants returned to the lab to complete these forms. Afterward, they were interviewed by one of the investigators, who tried to determine the extent to which the participants had understood and complied with the procedure and believed the information they had been given about the research. This extensive interview uncovered no problems with the procedure. Therefore, in Study 2, all of the forms from this phase of the study were mailed to the participants, and a written debrief (plus payment) was included in the package. Participants returned the materials in an addressed and stamped envelope that was also included in the package. Self-Centered and Other-Oriented Lies As described in detail in DePaulo et al. (1996), the reasons partici- pants gave for telling each of their lies were coded into the two major categories of self-centered and other-oriented. (The kappas were .69 and .68.) A third category of "neither self-centered nor other-oriented" was also coded, but those results are not relevant to the present report. That category included lies told to control an interaction, to create an effect (e.g., to entertain), to conform to conventions, or to simplify a response. Also coded but not included in the analyses were instances in which 2 Results from the other measures can be obtained from the authors. PAGE - 6 ============ 68 DEPAULO AND KASHY Table 1 Examples of Self-Centered and Other-Oriented Lies Told to People in Different Relationship Categories Relationship category Lie Reason Nonromantic Best friend Friend Acquaintance Stranger Romantic Partner (not spouse) Family Mother Father Spouse Child Self-centered lies I lied about something I didn't want him to know. I told her that I admire her uninhibited way. I said I was not worried about my grades. Told customer that if she likes her jeans that way, they weren't too tight. Said I didn't mind him picking up a girl last night. I told her I'd been studying hard. Said we paid off all bills except standard monthly, but haven't. I told her I had to be in D.C. to see a doctor. Told son to clean up room and get ready for the weekend and maybe we'd do something special. I told the lie so I could keep some privacy about my personal life. So she would not think that I was a prude. I didn't want him to think I was stupid. That I am so smart that it is easy to pull them up. To sell the outfit. (I did.) Wanted to appear untouchable. Because she's my mother and she'd kill me if she thought I hadn't been studying. So he would co-sign for new house I want even though he thinks it's too much money. Actually, I wanted to visit a friend to trade computer software. Needed his room cleaned up. Nonromantic Best friend Friend Acquaintance Stranger Romantic Partner (not spouse) Family Mother Father Spouse Child Other-oriented lies I told her that I'd love for her to stay with me and my family if she wanted to when I really wanted to be alone with them. Took sides with her when I really think she was also at fault. I told her she was nice-looking even though she isn't. Acted like I didn't know the information she was giving me. She told me to "talk to so and so." (I had already talked to so and so.) Told him I loved the food he ordered for me when it wasn't that great. I told her I didn't mind going shopping if she wanted me to. I hid my wife's plans to leave. After sex, I pretended to have experienced orgasm. I told son maybe my husband was late because he had car trouble when I thought he'd stopped off for a drink. She was lonely and I didn't want her to have to stay in the dorm by herself. She's going through a divorce and ! just didn't want to go against her because it's hard enough to deal with a divorce. To make her feel good. So she could feel helpful. Didn't want to make him feel bad. She needs my help but wouldn't ask if she thought I didn't want to go. He would be hurt by the truth and my wife may change her mind. Did not want to hurt my husband. Didn't want my son to worry. participants said they did not know why they told the lie. Examples of self-centered and other-oriented lies are shown in Table 1. Self-centered lies. Self-centered lies were defined as lies told to protect or enhance the liars psychologically or to advantage or protect the liars' interests (as described below). Also included were lies told to elicit a particular emotional response that the liars desired. The lies told for psychological reasons included lies told to protect the liars from embarrassment, loss of face, or looking bad; from disap- proval or having their feelings hurt; and from worry, conflict, or other unpleasantness. They also included lies told to protect the liars' privacy; to make the liars appear better (or just different) than they are; and to regulate the liars' own feelings, emotions, and moods. The lies told for reasons of personal advantage included lies told for the liars' personal gain, to make things easier or more pleasant for the liars, or to help them get information or get their way. They also included lies told to protect the liars from physical punishment, or to protect their property or assets or their safety. Lies told to protect the liars from loss of status or position or to protect them from being bothered or from doing something they preferred not to do were also included. Other-oriented lies. Other-oriented lies were defined as lies told to protect or enhance other persons psychologically or to advantage or protect the interests of others (as described below). Lies told to bother or annoy others or to cause them psychological damage (e.g., lie: "Told him the boss wanted to talk to him, but he really didn't"; reason: "so he'd look like a fool") were not included. Only 0.84% of the lies in Study 1 and 2.39% in Study 2 were of this nasty variety. The other-oriented lies told for psychological reasons included lies told to protect another person from embarrassment, loss of face, or looking bad; 246 KB – 17 Pages