In search of Korean Outliars: “a few prolific liars” in South Korea

Academic Article


  • Truth-default Theory proposes that the frequency of lying is not normally distributed across the population and that most lies are told by a few prolific liars. A survey with a probability sample examined the frequency of lying among of adults in South Korea. Consistent with theoretical predictions and well-documented prior findings from the United States and Western Europe, South Koreans showed the few prolific liar pattern. Although South Koreans reported lying on average once or twice per day (M = 1.48), the distribution was skewed with a mode of zero and a median of one. Half of the reported lies were told by just 12.4% of the respondents. Distributions for women and men show similar results. Estimates of lies received also exhibited a long-tail distribution. The data add to the pan-cultural support for truth-default theory.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Park HS; Serota KB; Levine TR
  • Start Page

  • 206
  • End Page

  • 215
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 3