A teen, priest and ad consultant are asked not to lie for a week, but the psychological complexity of something so fundamental to humans cannot be revealed by putting sensors on people
How often do you lie? Go on, tell the truth. Only to be kind to others? Lying by omission doesn’t count? Your carefully curated Instagram feed isn’t a form of deception – it’s just that applying the Clarendon filter to photos of you holding a smoothie makes you feel good.
It is estimated that we lie up to nine times a day, which makes me wonder what on earth the rate must be for world leaders. Apparently, we start lying at the age of one, when we learn to cry for attention, although my 12-month-old does this and I call it communicating her needs (and adorable, naturally). The question is whether we could or, indeed, would want to stop doing something as integral to human nature as laughing, feeling disappointed or watching silly BBC documentaries posing as serious telly.