Thursday, September 29, 2011


Why We Lie.
© By Neith Hunter
This is the 1st post for my 1st class, ETC, in the Instructional Media Design and Technology masters program. I chose a rather abstract but all too common subject, lying. I'm betting we've all participated in and been hurt by lies. I know I have...sob.  Oh well...onward.

So why do we lie?

Are some lies better or less important than others? If a lie protects someone, is it a good lie? Are there good lies? Some certainly don't seem that bad. Sometimes, we don't want the truth.

How 'bout little white lies? Does the color of the lie matter? Why do they even call it that? And, what about infidelity? Or lying about being married, as one guy recently did when he asked me to lunch, and I asked him if he was married, and he said, "no", then added, "It's complicated." And I said, yes, it is complicated when you're trying to take women to lunch who aren't your wife.

What about lying about your age? I started doing that as a teenager - my modeling agent told me too - so it seemed alright, even expected. That's what you're expected to do when you're a commodity, what ever it takes, so to speak. Fact is, lying is expected and accepted.

Ya know, it's said in Hollywood that if you want to know an actors age, you automatically add 7 years onto what ever you've read in the press, because actors always fudge their birthdays. Ah-huh, many do.

Speaking of commodities, are fake boobs a lie? Or how 'bout uploading an old or retouched photo of yourself to a dating site?

Does a lie diminish over time, become less painful or eventually morph into truth?
Please leave a comment and thanks for reading.


  1. 'Even apes lie'. Koko the gorilla, made famous for understanding and using sign language, was found lying when her handlers found the sink torn from the wall of her room when she was having a tantrum. When questioned, she signed to her handlers that a cat did it, and pointed to her kitten.

    These and many more interesting annotations can be found on Wikipedia under the heading: Lies. It seems that lies are listed under categories, so you can determine yourself when it is ok to lie or not. You are quite right Neith when you say, everyone does it. It seems to have been accepted (or rejected) from the beginning of the written word. Maybe it is a part of our DNA. Studies have found that children as young as age four do it too, although they lack moral understanding or the capacity to know if what they are saying is believable by adults. Read for yourself.

    I have found this topic very intriguing for it brings up many moral issues and questions which have no true answers only categorical relationships to good or bad behavior based on why we lie. The 'White Lie' they say is a lie that is considered harmless, or even beneficial as long as it is for the greater good.

    Something like this, "Do I look fat in this red dress." Answer: "Try the blue one on, it will probably be more flattering to your figure".


  2. Neith,
    I admire your blog, and it makes me think of my students after I have caught them making a poor choice. Usually after one 4 year old student has hit another 4 year old student. Maybe over a toy they don't want to share, or maybe the child doesn't have the social skill set to comprehend sharing because they are an only child.... I could go on forever about the dynamics of my exceptional children who are 3 or 4 years of age.
    I look forward on how to use your addie model in my classroom, and hopefully you will be willing to teach me. I never want to discourage my students, or humiliate them. Some of these children are delayed and non-verbal. Keep this in mind when you are directing me in the furture. They don't talk because they have the mentality of a 18mth. old with out any diagnosis besides developmentally delayed.

  3. Yes Carol, very good point. Lies my be part of our DNA as lying is also part of our survival instinct. This is what I find interesting too. There is more to lying than the simple manifestation of duplicity.

    Hi Tessa,
    I'm not sure how you plan to adapt my version of the ADDIE to your classroom, but I would be curious to know it if you do. My adaptation was written as a purely conceptual model to address the subject of this blog, lies. As for your sweet students, an ADDIE adaptation applied to a role-play type game could accommodate many learning styles and be quite fun for your students.
    Thank you both for your comments.

  4. Excuse my typo: Lies may be part of our DNA.