To what extent will we lie about ourselves to get someone into bed?

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You are at a party, chatting to someone you find attractive. At a certain point you begin to wonder if they are being entirely truthful. Did they really travel to all of those faraway places? Is their job really so interesting?

Initially, unacquainted pairs of participants were asked to resolve a dilemma faced by a fictitious individual named Tal who was having difficulty deciding whether to accept a tempting job offer abroad or to turn it down so as to remain close to friends and family. The participants were instructed to support and justify one of two alternative positions on Tal's dilemma.

hereafter they were shown responses to the same questions purportedly filled out by another participant who was in fact a member of the research team, and asked to create a profile to send to this person ahead of an online chat. The two final experiments focused on participants' answers to questions about the number of their past sexual partners. Initially, participants were invited to discuss their history with an attractive researcher. Thereafter they were required to fill out an anonymous questionnaire that requested the same information.

 

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