January 10, 2020

Pinocchio Effect

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Whenever Pinocchio lied, why did his nose grow longer? Was there a lie detector on it?

This is not a groundless story. Chicago researcher Dr. Alan Hirsch, of the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation, found out that when a person lies, his nose actually grows as it secretes the chemicals, catecholamines, which inflate blood vessels of the nose temporarily. As the inflated nervous tissue at the end of the nose itches, the liar comes to rub or touch his nose unconsciously. This is called “Pinocchio Effect.”

In fact, when a person lies, not only his nose responds. In tension and fear that the truth would leak out, his autonomic nervous system changes; his blood pressure goes up, his mouth becomes dry, his face turns red, or he breaks out into a cold sweat. Like these, his body shows warnings immediately.

However, the body doesn’t react to a lie sometimes. It is when a person tells a white lie to please the other person. As he does not intend to harm or deceive someone, he does not need to feel anxious in mind. Yet, if you want to please others, it may be more effective to tell them with your sincerity, rather than with a white lie, right?

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