Would I Lie to You?

Studies show that compulsive lying usually starts in adolescence, often in response to abuse of some kind. Brain scans of compulsive liars also reveal an excess of white matter, which might predispose them to manipulating information and words. Their lies are often unplanned and impulsive, and may have no purpose or be counterproductive. The magnitude, callousness, or consequences of their behavior are irrelevant to them, says Charles Dike, a leading expert on pathological liars. Some theories consider compulsive lying as a wish psychosis or addictive behavior. Perhaps the most likely reason is that lying is gratification, giving a rush inside that makes them want to tell more. The urge to lie is almost overpowering.

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