Paltering: The Art of Lying Truthfully | Rogers et al. (2016)

Paltering: The Art of Lying Truthfully
Paltering: The Art of Lying Truthfully

It might not be something we think about explicitly, but the act of lying is underpinned by a series of complex and intriguing psychological processes: goal-setting, social manipulation, theory of mind, memory, imagination.

Rogers et al. posit that there are three types of lie:

1 – Lying by Commission – actively making up a mis-truth.
2 – Lying by Omission – leaving out the truth
3 – Paltering – lying by telling the truth


Previous research has predominantly focused on the first two types of lying, but the current research has shown that people consider paltering to be a distinct form of lying and therefore it is an area of research which merits its own attention.

Over 50% of negotiators admit to lying within negotiations, and would prefer to use a palter (truth-lie), rather than an active lie of commission.

Paltering is considered to be more honest by the perpetrator, even though the recipient is likely to perceive the act as unethical, which can lead to significant reputation damage.

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About Daniel Edward 65 Articles
Daniel set up Psychology Unlocked in 2016 to support Psychology students in higher and further education. Daniel has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Psychology, Politics and Sociology from the University of Cambridge.