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Paltering feels less bad than lying but will cost you in the long run

11 January 2017

New research investigates the effects of using a truthful statement to create a misleading impression.

Paltering is the act of making a truthful statement that is designed to create a misleading impression and, following a new paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it seems as though we may only do it to make ourselves feel better.

The study, carried out at Harvard University, found that paltering is fairly common, with real-life negotiators reporting it as a tactic used more frequently than an outright lie, with one reason for this being that they believed it wasn't such a big deal when compared with a direct mistruth.

They may be mistaken in this, however, with the subsequent research finding that participants viewed both a lie and a palter as equally bad, expressing a disinclination to enter in to a business relationship with the culprit in the future.

Read more in our Research Digest blog.

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