These simplistic definitions of lying suggest that lying is a part of the communication process; lying is originated by the information sender; lying targets the information recipient, but there are no indications of the causes of lying (the reasons of lying). Researchers have long studied the characteristics of lying, but what is most important is to trace the reasons for lying; in essence to understand why people lie. This paper focuses on three propositions for the reasons for lying: lying as a product of an individual’s intention to withhold truthful information in order to deceive others, lying as an intention to prevent others from ‘injury’ or harm and lying as an unconscious practice where the individual who lies is not aware of lying.
Lying often occurs in the communication process between individuals when one of the individuals has an interest in deceiving the other. It is very common that people will tell lies in order to produce false assumptions or false beliefs in their friends, families, peers or anyone with whom they communicate. According to Carson, this is the first and most important reason for lying, because individuals have in their nature the tendency to compete with each other, and thus lying can provide a relatively better position to one person against the other (48). Paul Faulkner, in his journal What Is Wrong with Lying, agrees with the view of Carson, and states that one of the most common reasons for lying is to make the others believe that what they are told is true while in fact it is false (536). Lying under the intention to deceive the listener can be viewed from different perspectives; lying to make the other person view a subject or an issue just like the person who is lying or lying in order to avoid the other person’s realization of the truth. For example, a child may lie to his or her parents in order to avoid ...
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