When lying, practice makes perfect

Just 20 minutes of practice makes perfect when it comes to the art of lying, according to a new Northwestern University study.

For the study, researchers split 32 individuals into a control group and a group asked to remember false names, birth dates, and hometowns. Researchers then had the participants press a button to respond to questions about their identities. 

After 20 minutes, the liars' responses were indistinguishable from the truth-tellers in both speed and accuracy. "The difference between lying and being honest has been eliminated after the training," says lead author Xioaqing Hu.

Hu's conclusion: "After a short time of training, people can be very efficient at lying" (Ghose, LiveScience/NBC News, 11/20).

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