This Is our Village

Monday, March 26, 2012

Angry customers more likely to be lying

Posted on March 23, 2012 by Marketing
The customer is always right, unless they’re really angry in which case it’s more likely they’re actually lying if new research from the University of Sydney is to be believed.
The study, conducted by the university’s business school, found that people who lie during a service encounter have more extreme reactions to the outcome than their honest peers.
The explanation behind this phenomena is that the effort put into constructing the lie polarises the reaction to the lie’s response – if the story isn’t believed the teller is usually more surprised and has a stronger reaction, whereas if the story is believed the consumer usually feels more satisfied for having lied to get what they want than if they told the truth.
“Lying is hard work,” Dr Christina Anthony, the project’s lead researcher, elaborates. More >>

(isn't very angry also a stage in Alzheimers)


  1. I am not privy to any of the research and didn't read the article, for which you give the link, but my guess re why those who lie get angrier than those who don't is a little different than simply "if the story isn't believed, the teller is usually more surprised and has a stronger reaction."

    There is a whole spectrum of anger manifested by consumers who feel they've been wronged, ranging from a Casper Milquetoast kind of complaint to "raging bull." People, including the liars, have seen them all. The liars have probably noticed that those who complain loudly often get quicker, better results. They may have also noticed that liars get their way without being very rational. Perhaps not those who make a complete fool of themselves, but those who are pretty vociferous.

    Starting out at least, a liar's anger isn't natural. It is hard work, as the article says. It starts out "put on." the liar gauges what will work best. He may begin his complaint even-toned, but I think he is PREPARED to up the ante emotionally. As he gets caught up in his false anger, it becomes more real to him, more believed in by himself as being natural and justified, and thus more comfortable, and soon he may find himself making a fool of himself without realizing it. "He that commits sin becomes the servant of sin."

    It is easier to display anger than to have to rationally keep up a discourse. A display of anger provides a "cover" for the liar and makes it easier, if he ends up on the losing end, to save face by stomping out of the store or slamming down the phone.

  2. Unquestionably there's a place for honest, justified anger to be DISPLAYED. The Alzheimer's point you bring up, Elaine, is one I know little or nothing about.


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