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Science Nivel B1

The study that classifies people into radical liars, cheats and dishonest

Madrid / A study led by Spanish researchers classifies people into three profiles: liars, non-lying cheats and radical dishonest and, within them, those who take their behavior to the extreme or those who are more subtle.

In total, there are six profiles of dishonest human behavior that are detailed in this study published by the journal Psychological Science and led by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), with the participation of the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Technological Institute of Massachusetts (MIT) and Harvard University.

The economist David Pascual Ezama, researcher at the Department of Financial Administration and Accounting at the UCM explains that the value of this study lies in that it manages to “analyze real behavior by finding several very interesting different behavior patterns, which were intuited in some cases but no one had been able to prove it until now. ”


The black and white coin

To carry out the research, the scientists carried out two experiments, the first with a black or white coin, the result of which allowed the volunteers to be classified into:

-lucky and unlucky who told the truth,

– liars (if they came out black and said white),

– cheats but not liars (they did not stop until the white color that gave them the economic prize came out),

-radical dishonesty (they didn’t even try to shoot and said the color white).


In the second experiment, called grayscale, the sample had to roll a die and, depending on the result, they obtained financial compensation.

This game allowed the distinction in two within each dishonest profile, depending on whether they took their dishonest behavior to the extreme or only partially.

The liars falsified the result of their roll, saying a different number than the one they had been given, while the cheats, to avoid lying, threw as many times as they wanted until they got the result they wanted (they told the truth, but only when they were interested ).

Finally, the dishonest radicals did not even bother to roll the dice, they directly answered the answer that best suited them.

“This classification of six different profiles of liars and cheats is a step to analyze the advantage of detecting them, for example, for a recruitment process”, concludes Ezama. (23 October 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

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