UMass Psychologist Talks to Good Morning America about Research on Lying

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts psychology professor Robert S. Feldman was interviewed Tuesday by an ABC television crew from "Good Morning America Sunday" for a segment about lying, a subject much in the news because of scandals in Washington.

Feldman was interviewed about his ongoing research on lying by both children and adults for a segment scheduled to be broadcast Sunday. He says one experiment he runs puts two strangers – undergraduates – in a room together where they talk and are videotaped. Later they watch the tape and tell researchers when they are being truthful, and when they aren’t.

"The surprising findings are that up to 60 percent of people lie, and that males lie more than females by a factor of two or three," Feldman says.

In children, Feldman says he finds that more socially competent children are better liars, and it’s harder to detect with these children than with the less socially competent children.

In addition to talking to Feldman, the television crew also interviewed several of the students he uses in his experiments.

Feldman is a social psychologist, one of a group of UMass psychology researchers studying various aspects of social interaction. Other faculty are currently looking at how people form judgments about others, attitudes, stereotyping, and reactions to adversity.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors at the University with 1,250 undergraduate majors and pre-majors.