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The Science of Lying

嘿 大家好 让我们玩个两真一假的测谎游戏吧
Hey y’all, time for two truths and a lie.
I’m gonna tell you three things about myself,
and you’re gonna have to pick out the one that is not true.
准备好了吗?好的 第一个 我家有一台机器
Ready? Okay. Number one, I have a machine at home
that transforms plain water into carbonated water.
二 我打牌技术非常糟糕
Two, I’m really bad at the card game Set, or three,
三 迈克尔.杰克逊是我姑妈
Michael Jackson is my aunt.
Is it that obvious?
[摄影师:是……] 唉 我对游戏真是太不在行了
[camera man: Yeeeeah.] God, I’m so bad at game.
[intro music]
我们经常撒谎 而且我们比自己想象的更擅长说谎
We do it a lot, and we’re a lot better at it than you’d like to think.
比如 我不傻 相比于迈克尔.杰克逊是我姑妈 我完全可以说一个更好的谎
Like, I’m not stupid, I could totally have made up a better lie than Michael Jackson is my aunt.
说白了 我看起来很不擅长说谎这件事 本身就是个谎言
But check it out, the fact that I appeared to be terrible at lying was in fact…A lie.
我们人类与陌生人进行一次10分钟交谈 平均要说三次谎
In a ten minute conversation with a stranger, we humans will tell an average of three lies.
研究说谎的调查者说 研究对象甚至往往意识不到自己在撒谎
Researchers who study lying say that the subjects of these lying studies rarely even realize
that they’re doing it. But why? What purpose does lying actually serve?
我们要理性地看待人类的撒谎行为 值得一提的是
We’ll to put human deception into perspective, it’s worth
pointing out, humans aren’t the only fibbers in nature.
有个关于非人类撒谎的很有趣的例子我特别喜欢 Koko 那只有名的大猩猩
My favorite anecdotal example of non-human lying – Koko the gorilla
被教会了手语 那是在二十世纪七十年代的时候
who was taught sign language back in the 1970’s
有一次 她把房间墙上的水槽扯了下来 却把责任推到宠物猫身上
once actually blamed her pet kitten for ripping a sink out of the wall in her room.
真坏…大家都好坏啊 所以说撒谎在自然界真不算新鲜事
Bad…bad All Ball. So yeah, lying is nothing new in nature,
but why do humans specifically do so much of it?
正如我在之前的一次SciShow中提过的 人类是最早的也是最有代表性的社会性动物
Well as I’ve mentioned here before on a SciShow, humans are first and foremost social animals.
人类拥有超极容量的大脑 这主要是因为我们需要它去处理时时刻刻的社会交流信息
Got really super huge brains, and that’s mainly because we need them for all the interacting we’re always doing.
对于人类而言 成功的社会交流是生活中很多事情成功的关键
For humans, successful social interaction is key to success in much of our lives.
所以很明显撒谎是很不错的方法 不仅可以维护精密的社会结构平稳运转
So it’s clear that lying is a great way of keeping elaborate social structures running smoothly
while looking out for number one.
打个比方 如果你可以让同伴高兴 你将得到非常多的好处 比如食物
For instance, if you can keep your social group happy you’re going to reap all kinds of benefits like food,
更高的社会地位 更多更好的配偶 你知道你没法
higher social standing, more and better sexual partners, and you know you don’t
make friends and influence people going around saying things like “Actually, that
仅仅通过说“确实 那件腰布裙使你的屁股看上去很大” 或是
loin cloth does make your butt look big,” or
“嘿 你出去猎乳齿象那会我和你哥哥做爱了
“Hey, uh, I have been having sex with your brother while you’re out hunting
mastodon, so the little Glurg over there’s…
可能是你的侄子” 所以说谎
probably your cave nephew.”So the ability to lie,
和识破谎言的能力 对于早期的人类变得十分重要 因为
and to detect a lie, became pretty important to early humans because lying
说谎对于大脑来说确实不是很容易 它实际上会导致
is actually not very easy for a brain to do, and it actually caused a bit
of an evolutionary arms race.
于是人们开始变得越来越擅长撒谎 而且更擅长撒谎的人会得到更好的东西
So people started to get better and better at lying, and better liars got better stuff,
while hopefully remaining in good standing with their communities.
同样的 那些更擅长识别谎言的人
By the same token, those who were better at detecting lies
were cheated on by their mates and screwed over in camel trades a lot less often.
所以是的 我们现在已经进化成撒谎高手 并且很擅长识别低级谎言
So yes, now we’ve evolved to be good liars and also good at spotting bad liars.
但随着社会变得越来越复杂 人们会说“好了 好了 别再撒谎了!”
But as societies became more sophisticated, folks were like “Okay okay, enough with the lying!”,
因为生活在结构紧密的团体或者有组织的社会中 有很多好处
because there are lots of advantages to living in tight-knit communities and structured societies,
but y’can’t really have them,
when you don’t know for sure if the kids you’re raising are yours,
and if the camel you just bought has ever been in an accident or…Whatever.
So a society in which bold face lying goes completely unchecked leads
to… total anarchy!
So organized societies started putting the hammer down.
宗教系统开始引导人们 上帝会奖励和关爱说真话的人
Religious systems began to drive home the point that God rewards and cares for the truthful
and punishes liars.
So if you could survive being thrown into the pond tied up with a
那么上帝是站在你那边的 你说的那些是真话
sack of hammers, God was on your side and you were telling the truth.
如果没能活下来 那么很明显 你在撒谎
If not you were obviously lying.
Oh!中世纪欧洲的审判系统 我是多么爱你
Oh, medieval European judicial system, how I love you.
即使是现代社会 也有法律明令禁止说谎
Even in our modern times there are laws that prohibit lying and
override even our rights to free speech.
比如 你会因为在法庭上撒谎或者谎称
For instance, you go to a jail for lying in a court of law, or for lying about having received a
Medal of Honor for service in the armed forces.
别那样做 因为你又没那么……邪恶
Don’t do that. Also ’cause you’re not… evil.
为什么有人会撒谎呢 撒谎 是不对的
Why would someone do that? So lying. It’s not okay.
但是同时我们又擅长撒谎 而且我们的大脑想要撒谎
But we’re also good at it, and our brains want to do it.
我们非常小的时候就开始撒谎 一些研究者声称我们早在六个月大时就会说谎
We start lying really early, some researchers say as early as six months old.
我指的是 你也见过婴儿装哭 对吧?
I mean you’ve seen a baby fake cry, right?
那很容易看出来 比如他们正在哭[模仿婴儿假哭音] 然后他们会看一下是否有人
It’s very obvious, like they’re crying [fake crying noises] then they like, check to see if anybody’s
过来表示一下关心 再然后他们会像这样“懊 我要接着哭了!”
coming over to sympathize, and then they’re like “Oh, I’m going to keep crying then!”
Scientists think that this is the time when babies
are actually learning how to be better liars.
到了上大学 每五次和妈妈的交流中 他们大约会撒一次谎
By the time the kid’s in college they’re lying to their mom about once in every five interactions,
And actually that seems low to me.
我想说依我的大学经历 五次交流里我会说五次谎
I would say five out of five for my college experience.
Kids these days.
确实 孩子每天都撒谎
Actually, kids every day.
到我们成年 我们已经相当擅长撒谎
By the time we’re adults, we’ve gotten so very good at lying that we’re
actually able to do it to ourselves very effectively.
所谓欺骗自己 就是在我们的脑中
The trick to lying to yourself is in the holding of two pieces of
有两条相冲突的信息同时存在 我们只关注了其中一条
conflicting information in your head at the same time and paying attention to one,
while ignoring the other.
People who are good liars can hold a bunch of conflicting information in their heads all at once,
and keep track of it all.
拿那些病态撒谎者举例 即那些
Take pathological liars – people who habitually and compulsively
撒谎成性 欺骗成瘾 爱操纵别人的人
lie, cheat, and manipulate other people.
The thing about pathological liars is that they’re super good at self deception.
当他们说谎时 他们全心全意地相信自己所说的话
At the moment they’re telling it, they whole-heartedly believe their own lie.
Interestingly enough there is
的确存在不同 在正常人的大脑
an actual difference between the brains of a normal person
and the brain of a pathological liar.
That difference is in the very front of the brain in a place called the prefrontal cortex.
Most neuro-science studies focus on the
大脑的灰质 那些物质实际上负责处理信息的
on the gray matter of the brain, that’s the material that actually processes information.
然而 我们的大脑几乎有一半是由所谓的白质构成的
However, nearly half our brains is made up of what’s called white matter, which is
composed of connective tissues that
carry electrical signals from one group of neurons to another. So grey matter is
所以灰质负责所有的信息处理 白质负责连接
where all the processing happens, and white matter connects the different
parts of the brain.
在南加州大学的一项研究中 研究人员发现
In a study at the University of Southern California, researchers found that
pathological liars
have about 25 percent more white matter in their prefrontal cortex than the rest of us,
suggesting that pathological liars can make a bunch of connections in their brain really fast.
And that lets them keep all the information in order that they need
to sustain the lie,
同时解读他们正在欺骗的人 对那些人进行施压
also to read the person that they’re lying to, to suppress their emotions,
最重要的是 使对方有可能相信他们所说的
and probably believe what they’re saying on top of it all.
所以 为什么病态说谎者还没有接管这个世界
So, why haven’t pathological liars taken over the world?
I mean they seem to be the next step in human evolution.
其实不然 病态说谎者是有比较多的白质
While pathological liars have a surplus of white matter,
但同时他们的灰质比其他人少14%左右 而灰质
they also have around 14 percent less gray matter than other people, and gray matter
is where all the critical thinking happens.
所以白质多的人只会说 “我要告诉吉姆我以前是个战斗机飞行员!” 而灰质多的人则会分析
So the white matter is all alike, “I’m gonna tell Jim I used to be a fighter pilot!” and the grey matter’s all
“我可以告诉吉姆我以前是个战斗机飞行员 但我也许不应该这样做 因为
“I could tell Jim I used to be a fighter pilot, but I probably shouldn’t because
that would jeopardize my relationship with Tammy.”
So extreme liars have a really hard time maintaining relationships and
保住工作 因为不久之后每个人都会意识到
holding down jobs because after a while everybody realizes
他们满脑子废话 结果是被抛弃或被解雇
that they’re full of crap, and they get dumped or fired.
Which is not ideal for the person.
It’s great for everyone else.
但如果真有超级骗子 我们要怎么知道自己是否正在被欺骗?
But if there are these super liars out there, how do we know if we’re being lied to?
我的意思是 测谎仪也许可以捕捉到信号 比如骗子声音的变化
I mean, lie detectors might be able to pick up signals like change in the liar’s voice,
或心率的增加 或出汗 所有那些
or increased heart rate, or sweating, all stuff that we
do when we’re fibbing outright.
But a really good liar might not display any of those symptoms.
然而 无论你是一个多么好的说谎者
Well, no matter how good of a liar you
are, the fact that you are lying
常常会露馅 通过你的肢体语言和你的词汇选择
will often leak out, both through your body language and through your word choices.
Let’s look at a sample sentence.
“相信我 我不是那个放屁的和导致人们撤出那家电影院的人!”
“Believe me, I was not the one who farted and evacuated that movie theater!”
So do you believe me?
可能不相信 因为在那个句子里我做了三件事情 使你
Probably not, because I did three things in that sentence that made you
totally certain that I was in fact the person who made them evacuate
the movie theater.
即:一 我说“相信我” 而骗子总是会那样说
To wit: one, I said “believe me”. Liars will always say that,
或者“老实说” 又或者理查德.尼克松最喜欢的“坦白讲”
or “to be totally honest”, or Richard Nixon’s favorite “in all candour”.
二 我突然停止使用缩略语
Two, I all of a sudden stopped using contractions.
Liars often use more formal language to deny something that they’ve actually done.
三 我说“那家电影院”而不是“电影院”
And three, I said “that movie theater” instead of “the movie theater” – I was
trying to distance myself from the whole situation.
我们以为说谎者是坐立不安的 但实际上我们倾向于在说谎时保持上半身僵硬
We think of liars as being fidgety, but we actually tend to freeze our upper bodies when we lie.
我们会做更多的 而不是更少的目光接触
We make more, not less eye contact.
Maybe a little too much to overcompensate for telling a fib.
说谎者还会做下面这些事 比如在说“是”的时候摇头
Liars will also do things like shake their heads while saying yes
比如讲完一个故事会笑 即使那是个恐怖故事
and smile when they’re done telling a story even if it’s a terrible one.
所有这些 通过观察我们的用词以及肢体语言所泄露的信息
All of this stuff, the reading of what we leak through our words and bodies is
actually the future of lie detection –
training law enforcement officers to read potential criminals to catch them
in the act of lying.
Of course they’re always coming up with new kinds of gadgets all the time too.
眼球跟踪器 核磁共振成像脑部扫描仪将会代替老式测谎仪
Eye trackers, MRI brain scanners that are going to replace the old lie-detector tests.
也许我可以试试对着脑部扫描仪说我的两真一假 看看它会怎么反应
Maybe I’ll tell my two truths and a lie on a brain scanner, see how it does.
[摄影师:非常确定我们都知道会发生什么] 好吧 你是对的
[camera man: Pretty sure we all know how that’s going to turn out.] Yeah, you’re right.
我是一个糟糕的说谎者 也许不是?
I’m a terrible liar. Or am I?
[maniacal laughter]
Thank you for watching this infusion.
我们讲述的所有的事实都不是谎言 我们保证
All of the facts contained within are not lies, we promise.
但是如果你想较真 描述部分有写明引文出处
But if you wanna check there are citations in the description,
of course because we’re scientists here.
如果你对未来的节目有想法 你可以在评论区留言
If you have ideas for future episodes of infusions you can leave those in the comments
or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
有问题也欢迎来问 我们同样会非常开心去解答 下次见
Also questions, we’ll be happy to answer those as well. See you next time.
[ending music]