“The line between truth and lies is becoming ever murkier, finds Melissa Hogenboom. There’s even a new word for a very different form of lying”
By: Melissa Hogenboom
Published: BBC, 15 Nov 2017, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171114-the-disturbing-art-of-lying-by-telling-the-truth
Level of Difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
· People Lie Constantly, Especially Online - Robert Feldman
· Paltering: The Art of Lying Truthfully | Rogers et al 2016 | Social Psychology
1. Consider the following examples. What exactly is Theresa May trying to do? Read the following and decide:
2. We understand from the text that paltering is….
3. It is illogical that we lie at all because…
4. Which of the following would most people not consider to be lies? Why?
· Husband to wife at the end of an average meal “That was delicious”
· Center forward who missed an easy goal “I had a terrible cramp”
· Student who did badly on a test to students who did well “I really messed up”
5. In what way do Theresa May’s comments differ from the examples in question four?
6. Watch the following: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/obama-birth-certificate-trumps-card-13326679 Why did so many people believe the conspiracy concerning Obama?
7. Why is Trump’s response concerning housing discrimination considered paltering? Use your own words.
8. Watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_z3FUjCVVA Paxman says “Did you threaten to overrule him?” In what way does Paxman’s attitude differ from the average person’s?(Your own words)Why would the average attitude be different?
9. Read the following example from Lifehacker (https://lifehacker.com/watch-out-for-paltering-techniques-to-spot-a-lie-hidd-1787480207 ): For example, say you’re out buying a TV and a salesman tells you that one really expensive TV comes with 4K, and HDR, which makes it a good long-term purchase. None of those statements are technically inaccurate. The TV does have those features and they do make the TV relatively future-proof. However, the salesman leaves out that they have another TV on the next aisle with those exact same features for half the price. Nothing the salesman said was a lie, and you can even verify those claims, but they used that trust to sell you on a broader picture—namely that you have to spend a lot of money to get a good TV—that wasn’t really true. Examples like these prove that paltering…………………….. and the main reason is that ……………………….
10. Watch the following video: https://hbr.org/2010/11/people-often-trust-eloquence-m.html There are a lot of people who really dislike Hilary Clinton. What might one reason be? Use your own words.
11. We can blame parents for encouraging us to believe that….
Use all you have learnt about lying to write about how and why people lie.
THE DEVIOUS ART OF LYING BY TELLING THE TRUTH KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This wonderful little text provides incredible scope for delving into a very complex issue. Videos have been worked into the questions to encourage students to develop the habit of doing further research as they read. The videos serve an additional purpose too: they help in the formulation of good inferential questions. The writing task should not be timed to allow students to draw on all the material.
1. She is lying by telling the truth / She is misleading by telling the truth
2. The grey area between truth and lies
3. It costs us considerably more mental effort to lie than to tell the truth
4. The first two. They are so ordinary and so expected that we just don’t notice them.
5. Theresa May aims to manipulate or mislead
6. Because it is difficult to spot a misleading fact when we hear something that on the face of it sounds true.
7. Because “no admission of guilt” does not mean he was not guilty; it simply means he didn’t admit it.
8. Possible answer: most people would not keep repeating the question. / Because social norms would prevent them
9. Is common in everyday life (OR is commonplace) / it is seen as a useful tool
10. Possible answer: She is a dodger / she is good at paltering
11. It is at times fine and preferable to lie about things.