Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The tendency to lie is a part of personality. But are personality traits the only factors that make some people lie more often than others? We propose that cognitive abilities have equal importance. People with higher cognitive abilities are better, and thus more effective liars. This might reinforce using lies to solve problems. Yet, there is no empirical research that shows this relationship in healthy adults. Here we present three studies in which the participants had free choice about their honesty. We related differences in cognitive abilities and personality to the odds of lying. Results show that personality and intelligence are both important. People low on agreeableness and intelligent extraverts are most likely to lie. This suggests that intelligence might mediate the relationship between personality traits and lying frequency. While personality traits set general behavioral tendencies, intelligence and environment set boundaries.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0176591

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2017

Volume

12

Keywords

Adult, Age Factors, Deception, Extraversion, Psychological, Female, Humans, Intelligence, Male, Odds Ratio, Sex Factors