Motivation and Consequences of Lying. A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying

  • Beata Arcimowicz University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw
  • Katarzyna Cantarero University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw
  • Emilia Soroko Adam Mickiewicz University
Keywords: thematic analysis, semi-structured interviews, lying typology, motivation for lying

Abstract

This article presents findings of qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with a group of "frequent liars" and another of "rare liars" who provided their subjective perspectives on the phenomenon of lying. Participants in this study previously had maintained a diary of their social interactions and lies over the course of one week, which allowed to assign them to one of the two groups: frequent or rare liars. Thematic analysis of the material followed by elements of theory formulation resulted in an extended lying typology that includes not only the target of the lie (the liar vs. other) but also the motivation (protection vs. bringing benefits). We offer an analysis of what prevents from telling the truth, i.e. penalties, relationship losses, distress of the lied-to, and anticipated lack of criticism for telling the truth. We also focus on understanding moderatorsof consequences of lying (significance of the area of life, the type of lie and capacity to understand the liar) that can be useful in future studies.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1503318

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Author Biographies

Beata Arcimowicz, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw

Beata ARCIMOWICZ has conducted research within the project "Anthropology of Lying in Everyday Life" at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Campus in Wroclaw. Her main research interest concerns cultural psychology. She uses and values both qualitative and quantitative methodology. She is a psychologist and a psychotherapist.

Katarzyna Cantarero, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw

Katarzyna CANTARERO is a research assistant at the Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Her research concentrates mainly on lying and morality. She teaches social psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Campus in Wroclaw. She was the head of the research project "Anthropology of Lying in Everyday Life," funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The project was carried out at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Campus in Wroclaw. She received her PhD at the Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences.

Emilia Soroko, Adam Mickiewicz University

Emilia SOROKO is an assistant professor (adjunct) at the Institute of Psychology, Adam Mickiewicz University. Her methodological interests involve qualitative approaches, especially interview methods, content analysis, narrative analysis, and mixed method. She is engaged mostly in research projects in clinical psychology (personality pathology assessment) and social psychology.

Published
2015-09-18
Section
Single Contributions