influential. Significant factors did include the intrafamily environment (e.g., perceived parental rejection) and genetics. Of the genetic influences, the principal correlates were deceitfulness and temperamental traits.
Bond and Robinson ( 1988) hypothesized that the genetic factors controlling anatomy also influence lying. They suggest that some people look more honest than others and thus can lie more effectively. As a result of successful deceit, they receive reinforcement and progressively become better liars. However, heredity also influences neurophysiological processes as well as anatomy. It seems probable that genetic influences on cognitive style (see above), neurocognitive impairment, and the propensity to use repression as a coping mechanism (see Chapter 2) might better explain any hereditary predisposition to lying.
Deceit is a common, basic characteristic of life in the animal kingdom. It is such a potent factor in survival that its expression has evolved independently in many phyla, as flight has evolved in insects, birds, and mammals. It has been suggested that the evolution of the human brain was driven by pressures for ever-increasing cognitive skills at perpetrating and detecting deceit. Furthermore, self- deception may also have evolved as a result of the role it plays in increasing the effectiveness of other-deception. Suggestive evidence points to the possibility of hereditary influences on the propensity to lie.
The human brain is organized into specialized, somewhat independent but interacting, functional entities. The prefrontal lobes appear to be critical for discerning subtle meanings of information regarding social relationships. Thus, defects in the frontal lobes or functional disconnections of various areas of the brain may explain some types of deceit (e.g., unintentionally making statements one knows to be false) or self-deception.
A provocative hypothesis is that the inherent survival advantages of deceit are modulated by social group pressures and an in
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Publication information: Book title: Lies!, Lies!!, Lies!!!The Psychology of Deceit. Contributors: Charles V. Ford - Author. Publisher: American Psychiatric Press. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 66.
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