I think the psychology of lying is really interesting. When a person lies it is almost always to someone else's opinion of them for the positive and so, presumably to increase that liar's sense of self worth.
Interesting because, while I am sure it is ultimately unfilfilling, it does seem to, at that moment and later, allow that person to feel better about themselves by thinking that others are thinking better of them.
Even though the liar knows what they have lied about isn't true! That people can feel good about others thinking they possess a certain quality they know they do not have to me says a lot about our brains. It illustrates how deeply ingrained it is for people to crave acceptance by others. That that craving can triumph over our sense of reality. It should make no sense for a person to feel good about a quality they know they do not possess yet others think they do. A person should recognize, 'Well, it is not true that I_____, so it shouldn't affect the way I think of myself at all.' Yet that isn't the case. The same goes for cheating. It shouldn't make sense that a person should take any satisfaction at all from winning by cheating because they know they didn't really win! Yet people cheat all the time, often the only reward they receive is the satisfaction of others thinking, mistakenly, that they won. And apparently this is a strong drive for many people and keeps them cheating again and again. It actually means something for them to have others think of them in a way that isn't true.
Which is bizarre.
But makes sense if a person considers the evolution of mammals. How our group perceives us has been incredibly important in our evolutionary history. If an animal is seen by the group as being one who doesn't share food(or whatever), then the group won't share food with him/her.(this isn't theory, this is observable behavior in the animal kingdom, and relates to many other things than sharing). It doesn't matter if the animal actually IS a good sharer (or whatever), all that matters is the group perceives him/her as such, and he/she will have better reproductive fitness, because s/he will receive more support and acceptance from the group. I imagine we have this deeply ingrained need to be perceived in certain ways by the group, which as our intelligence increased we were able fool others into thinking we possessed certain traits, without actually possessing them, thus getting the benefits of being perceived as having that trait, without the drawbacks that may come with actually having it.
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