This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

Likely Liars: Don't Trust Anything A Young, Single Man Tells You

Look, it's science, OK?

People aren't always good at catching a liar, but it could be the job of an algorithm in the near future, with research showing how to accurately pick a serial liar based on a few factors.

New Curtin University-led analysis found 13 percent of people told 58 percent of total lies and those 'big liars' were most likely to be young, unmarried men who had low levels of education and had exhibited signs of road rage.

Specific, huh?

Don't look so smug ladies, because another likely group of big liars was young, married women with low levels of education who have managed to get a high income.

"So that might be women who have married into money," report author Arch Woodside told The Huffington Post Australia.

"What you've got to keep in mind though is this is a recipe of factors to determine one of several groups of big liars. Our aim was to find a 'recipe' of factors that could determine nine times out of 10 whether you could screen for what you're looking for, in this case, a big liar."

Researchers tested combinations of factors like age, gender and education using a U.S. national survey from 1998 that took representative samples from every county. The quiz also asked lifestyle questions as well as others like 'how many times have you lied' but also 'have you ever given someone the finger in traffic'.

He said they used this data to create a screening process to determine what other factors the big liars had in common to create likely groups.

"It's profiling," he said.

"People don't like the word 'profiling' and I can understand why. It can get pretty nasty in terms of excluding people, discriminating against people.

Financier Bernard Madoffwas a notorious liar.
Financier Bernard Madoffwas a notorious liar.

"It's illegal in Australia to ask certain questions relating to profiling and hiring -- you're not permitted to ask 'are you married?' or 'are there children at home'.

"What we found is actually takes about seven configuration ingredients to be sure you identify big liars. For example a young male with low education is not sufficient information to determine whether he's likely a big liar. But a young male with low education who engages in antisocial behaviour such as road rage, well by now you can be pretty sure he is."

The study also uncovered 21 percent of people who tried to live their life without lying at all. They tended to be older women who were not married.

The research named notorious fraudulent financier Bernie Madoff as an example of a big liar along with President-elect Donald Trump, saying lies were more topical than ever right now.

"Well for one thing there's been a lot of discourse about lying, President-elect Trump accused all the other presidential candidates for the Republican Party as being big liars but he was also rated biggest liar of the year."

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact