When the question is posed why people lie, seldom does the person asking realize just how complicated that question is. The other day my 12 year old want to know why people, and although I have almost thirty years experience in forensic psychology, I very much labored to answer his inquiry. The truth is, as I told my nephew, that there is no simple reason why people lie, there really is not a clear definition of what a lie and tales. Is an omission a lie? Maybe, maybe not, but if it is, it certainly is not in the same way that a frank statement against fact is a lie.
Is paying someone a complete when we do not really need it a lie? Before we can really answer the question of why people lie, all of these issues is the first addressed in order for us to get a better understanding.
Some people are serial liars and agents can not help of a able to for these individuals and it is pathological liars. It is usually a cry for attention. They are so obsessed with being seen as interesting, unusual, or perhaps different than they are, that they will say or do anything that might be focus on them. Some of the summit are so incredible that they even realize that no one will believe them, if they do it anyway.
But this is perhaps a simplification of why people lie, so I think we have the dig a little deeper. In many respects figuring out why people is an exercise in common sense. Think about it, a person lies usually to impress others or to get out of a bad situation. Maybe they want to get away with not having done their homework, or having been late for work. Kind of like the classic "the dog ate my homework." Many times people lie because they want to impress others and so they embellish their accomplishments. It is hard to tell in most situations why people lie, that's the tricky part, the easier part is to tell when they are lying.
Body language is one of the best cues to spot a liar. Regardless of why people lie, they usually give them away once you know what telltale signs to look for. They do not necessarily fidget a lot, but often they will get stiffer than normal. To contrast this, they may use exaggerated gestures or speak with different language than they usually do. A lack of eye contact is also a pretty clear signal. The bottom line is, that there are many explanations and reasons for why people lie, but with a little education and because rather easy to spot when people are lying.