Is Lying in our DNA? – New word – pseudologia fantastica

In the molecular construction of amino acids and nucleotides that results in DNA and the genetic codes of all living things, the exact source of what makes humans lie so freely is not evident. But it is in there.

A study of twins conducted by Edinburgh University determined that among this group studied, genes and genetic predisposition determined individual’s personality traits. The nature vs. nurture debates has long raged. But in this study, genes and DNA won. Some of us are quite simply born liars.

For many humans, lying is pathological. It is literally who they are. This personality trait – pseudologia fantastica — better known as being a pathological liar, appears to be so ingrained in those with this disorder, that genetic predisposition is suspected.

Other studies have been conducted on genetics and lying. Another twins study conducted by the University of Toronto showed that genetics played a 42% role in certain individuals claiming sick leave, when sick they were not.

Things learned:

  • Pathological lying is still a symptom at this point. It has not been accepted as a disorder by the mental health community.
  • Antisocial behavior is highly contagious from parent to child.
  • The average age of onset of pathological lying is 16. The average age of detection of this behavior is 22.

About Christopher Metcalf - Author

Christopher Metcalf is the author of Lance Priest / Preacher novels. Lance "Preacher" Priest is a spy, a killer, a human chameleon. He is the CIA's perfect weapon who lives by one simple rule -- there are no rules. Spies and Lies is a blog dedicated to espionage, the art and science of lying and occasional creative writing.
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