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Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:44 pm
by fishtits
In my country, to buy painkillers that actually work you have to talk some bullshit to the pharmacist because new regulations brought in a few months ago allows them to refuse to sell them to someone if they believe they don't need them so I've had a good few opportunities to test my deception skills. I've noticed that it has a lot to do with your neurochemistry. When I'm sober (not on any substances) and rested they always give them to me and half the time they don't even question me about why I need it. On the other hand if I am on or coming down off dexedrine (a drug I'm prescribed for ADHD) and/or sleep deprived they always question me about it and 50% of the time they refuse to give it to me. I know exactly why this is too.

When I'm sober for some reason I'm indifferent to what I'm saying, I just put myself in the position of someone whos telling the truth and I've noticed that like this I naturally display the body language of someone being honest. If I'm on dexedrine I don't automatically assume the role of someone telling the truth so I have the knowledge that I'm lying at the forefront of my mind the whole time and I display different body language. My theory is that whatever receptors the dexedrine activates/inhibits, I end up in a state that makes it way harder to assume the role of someone else and as a result, it makes it a lot harder to lie. Either that or I'm just more relaxed when I'm sober.

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:14 pm
by Goatboy
I don't have time to post nearly as long a response as I'd like, but I can sum it up with this: If you yourself don't believe the lie, your target won't either.

Great post, by the way. Let's try to keep this thread in the same intellectual light, shall we?

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:18 pm
by insomaniacal
I dunno if it has anything to do directly with neurochemistry, but it can certainly be affected by changes in it. Some drugs might help you "get into the zone" easier, while drugs that tend to make you more active/jumpy (I'm guessing the ADHD meds do that, most of them are derivatives of various amphetamines) could make it harder to act convincingly during such an encounter.

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:29 pm
by parakkafaith
I think putting yourself in the position of someone who is telling the truth, and actually believing your own lie, are very different.

To be able to lie in your sober state and leave the fact that you're lying in the back of your mind, remaining "indifferent to what [you're] saying", seems like a skill that I would relate to more of actor or actress type quality.

However, I think that believing your own lie happens when you honestly think that what you're saying is true. For example, I'm sure at some point you've run into somebody who has either told a seemingly impossible story, or just highly unlikely. They might not necessarily have their story straight, but they believe they do for whatever reason. I believe the easiest situation for somebody to believe their own lie is simply accidentally forgetting the whole story, and then retelling it with false facts.

SQL STORY EXAMPLE:

Bill: Why can't I see my list of users?! I keep typing this in but it's not working!
PICK * FROM USERS;

Joe: You've screwed up your syntax! It's:
SELECT * FROM USERS;

Bill: Last time I used pick it worked. <-- Bill isn't necessarily trying to be deceptive (what reason does he have, really?), however the only clue anybody could possibly have that his story isn't true is because it's not possible. Somebody who doesn't know it's impossible would easily take it as fact because they just have no idea.

</rant> Sorry about the cheesy SQL example, I just needed something absolute and it's the first thing I thought of :P I'd be interested reading about the doctors reaction to somebody who was under the influence of any drug, but while sober believed they needed something they didn't, since they would still believe it under the influence. Nice post :)

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:40 pm
by sanddbox
I agree with the above - it's not so much believing your lie as being able to get in the character of someone for which the lie is truth. I can lie well while consciously knowing I'm lying; the trick lies in pretending to be someone who isn't lying.

@parakkafaith: Change the table name to "nose" for some lulz.

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:53 pm
by parakkafaith
sanddbox wrote:@parakkafaith: Change the table name to "nose" for some lulz.


PICK * FROM nose WHERE picker = 'parakkafaith';
USE tissue;
UPDATE nose SET nosebleed = '0' WHERE picker = 'parakkafaith';

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:30 pm
by fishtits
parakkafaith wrote:I think putting yourself in the position of someone who is telling the truth, and actually believing your own lie, are very different.

Good point, what I'm thinking of is definitely the former. I still know at the back of my mind that I'm lying but on the forefront of my mind I'm assuming the role of someone whos telling the truth. There are loads of tutorials on homemade polygraphs online, I'm gonna build one when I have the time and experiment. I suspect that assuming the role of someone telling the truth is enough to bypass a polygraph because my body language conforms to the role I'm playing, I've seen it for myself, when I'm answering questions I show the palms of my hands by reflex, whereas on dexedrine I feel the urge to put my hands in my pockets.

parakkafaith wrote:However, I think that believing your own lie happens when you honestly think that what you're saying is true. For example, I'm sure at some point you've run into somebody who has either told a seemingly impossible story, or just highly unlikely. They might not necessarily have their story straight, but they believe they do for whatever reason. I believe the easiest situation for somebody to believe their own lie is simply accidentally forgetting the whole story, and then retelling it with false facts.

I never thought of it like that, I've probably observed this many times but every time I assumed the person took me for an idiot and assumed I wouldn't know enough to see what he was saying was bullshit but the scenario you described makes a lot more sense. Heres an example: I was drinking with an eskimo (a guy from Nunavut in Canada) and he seemed to take an abnormal liking to me and was trying to impress me with his stories and it was working (I liked his story about him jumping out the 2nd floor window of a crack house lol) until he told me this one. He claimed that he could snort an 8 ball of coke then drop 10 ecstasy pills and live to tell the tale. I instantly lost all respect for him cuz I couldn't believe any of his previous stories then and thought that he just wasted an hour of my time telling me bullshit. I told him no human can survive that but he kept claiming that he's done it before over and over again and he started getting pretty hostile about me not believing him. In reality he probably got the numbers mixed up or was misinformed about what the drugs were and believed what he was telling me

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:50 am
by sanddbox
fishtits wrote:I never thought of it like that, I've probably observed this many times but every time I assumed the person took me for an idiot and assumed I wouldn't know enough to see what he was saying was bullshit but the scenario you described makes a lot more sense. Heres an example: I was drinking with an eskimo (a guy from Nunavut in Canada) and he seemed to take an abnormal liking to me and was trying to impress me with his stories and it was working (I liked his story about him jumping out the 2nd floor window of a crack house lol) until he told me this one. He claimed that he could snort an 8 ball of coke then drop 10 ecstasy pills and live to tell the tale. I instantly lost all respect for him cuz I couldn't believe any of his previous stories then and thought that he just wasted an hour of my time telling me bullshit. I told him no human can survive that but he kept claiming that he's done it before over and over again and he started getting pretty hostile about me not believing him. In reality he probably got the numbers mixed up or was misinformed about what the drugs were and believed what he was telling me


He still could have been simply lying. When someone makes an accusation that rings true, one usually responds with hostility. It's similar to a cornered animal going from its usual skittish state to an aggressive, fight-to-the-death state.

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:35 am
by Goatboy
As usual with my insightful wisdom, people tend to misinterpret it.

When I said you have to believe your own lie, I didn't mean you literally had to have a schizophrenic disorder and ACTUALLY believe your own lie. What I was trying to get across is that your lie has to be so good that you yourself could buy it.

Basically, ya'll gots ta lie good.

Re: Ability to believe your own lie

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:45 pm
by tremor77
You need to pad the lie with just enough truth that, the lie doesn't feel too bad. For most non-insane people I think trying to pass a lie as truth would be difficult. Passing the lie off as a twist on truth however, is easier. Now as far as being high or not, while telling it.. I think there are varying degrees, based on the type of high. If I were to lie to a medical professional (specially a pharmacist) however, I think I'd prefer to be in a more sober state, as... there are other physical characteristics you display while high, that they are trained to notice... and I think someone with this training (I have it as a wilderness first responder) will tend to skew their insights toward an individual based on whether they think they are on drugs or not. If I talk to someone who could be under the effects of a drug, which I can generally tell quite easily.. I tend to immediately regard them as in an altered state and potentially not trustworthy.