Does my bum look big in this?

photo of Jennifer Lopez

Getting ready to go out tonight….don't ask your partner this question, if he loves you he'll lie!

And I love this new study looking into the relationship between love and lying. The 'love' hormone, oxytocin, has been demonstrated in research as promoting bonding in couples and between mothers and babies, and is also thought to drive people's impulse to be sociable, important in group bonding. Also in general, the higher levels of oxytocin a person has, the more empathy and trust they will have, as well as lower social anxiety and fear response.

The lying done in this case IS however all about its effect on the people around you and not about the self-centred deceitful type. 

So these intrigued scientists one rainy afternoon split a load of people into small groups and told them to individually within their groupls  toss a coin, guessing before the coin landed what the result would be; heads or tails. Now no one was checking on them so they had to self report. The more correct predictions an individual reported the more money would be won by their group.

Before the commencement of the tossing, some groups were injected with oxytocin and other groups with a placebo.

Of course there was going to be some fibbing going on, stands to reason. And as the participants were all MEN, well need I say more. (Just joking!)

However the probability of  guessing correctly 9 or 10 times out of 10 is highly unlikely, less than 1%. 

The placebo group reported 23% of their members guessing correctly at 90% or even 100%

The oxytocin group were however 'really feeling the lurrve in the room' and reported a 53% success rate at guessing 9 or 10 times correctly out of 10. i.e. twice as likely to bend the truth as the placebo guys.

The satisfied scientists concluded that;

"These findings fit a functional perspective on morality revealing dishonesty to be plastic and rooted in evolved neurobiological circuitries, and align with work showing that oxytocin shifts the decision-maker's focus from self to group interests.
Our results suggest people are willing to bend ethical rules to help the people close to us, like our team or family," says Dr. Shalvi. "This raises an interesting, although perhaps more philosophical, question: are all lies immoral?"

So guys my advice in answering the question "Does my bum look big in this?" is something along the lines of "Darling you look beautiful!"

Because, and here's the secret, we already know the answer…..and if we really want the honest truth we'll ask another woman!