Ever been in a scenario that just makes you think “damn! Numbers lie real good”? Right, this article explains why numbers don’t lie.
There is a common misconception people always have that numbers lie. Ironically, it should be liars use numbers.
While this may not seem convincing, there is got to be well proven fact to back it up.
So in the right sense, don’t you think people should learn how they use numbers so that it doesn’t give the wrong information?
Actually, we use mumbers everyday in our lives and every aspects of our lives to signify or represent one thing or the other.
However, in cases where it requires human for numbers to signify or represent something, then it will be rather difficult to agree it lies.
How about cases where it requires someone’s interpretation for it to also have a meaning? That shows it’s innocence too.
You will get to know why this is so, as well as how humans misuses numbers that sometimes gets you thinking how numbers lie.
Because this article talks about reasons numbers don’t lie but lairs using numbers, we shall briefly look at the nature of human lie.
Also, we shall look at how human lies and how lie itself affects human behavior.
But first, what does numbers don’t lie mean?
Numbers don’t lie meaning
The numbers don’t lie is a phrase meaning humans intentionally use numbers to pass the wrong information to other people.
It tells you the degree of tendency humans have in misusing numbers for their own Interests in an intentional manner.
That means any information been presented in numbers could either be the right one or the wrong, depending on the individual that used the numbers.
A very good example of it is when someone says “56843521”.
Now these are numbers, but it requires interpretation by the person who said it, else you could be wondering what it means.
Because the numbers could mean anything. It could mean a password, a signature, a slogan, security number or even a name.
However, if the interpreter says it’s a password whereas it’s a name in numbers, then the liar is the interpreter, not the numbers.
The say “numbers don’t lie” and “statistics don’t lie but lairs use statistics” was credited to Mark Twain
Nature of humans telling a lie
Sure, a liar is a person who tells lies, but why do liars lie?
Liars lie because it’s defensive, and they often lie to escape the results of what telling the truth could result to.
They also could be lying to protect your feelings, save integrity, remain in the pleasant zone or to maintain relationship or close contact with you.
One could wonder if lying is genetic or not. For a fact, genetic lying could be determined when the lying appears to be extreme.
In such instances, these kind of liars are constantly lying, and they are known as the pathological liars.
Can these pathological liars change? Well, because most pathological liars are born that way, it can be difficult to say.
But the truth is that pathological liars can limit their lies when they get into lesser troubles, but changing could be hard. I mean real hard.
Even, these pathological liars have high self-assurance and don’t feel rejected, which makes them know they are lying.
Philosophers often say that lie can’t be justified, because you cannot lie to another person because of circumstances or another person has lied to you.
And this is not exclusive to any type of lie a person renders. These types of lies are :
- Denial lie – not accepting the truth
- Exaggeration lie – telling as greater or better.
- Minimized lie – cutting short the effects of mistakes or faults
- Restructuring lie – the content been obstructed from the fact.
- Error lie – lying by mistake
- Omission lie – leaving out relevant information.
- Fabrication lie – deliberately inventing a false story.
Fun fact : the average person lies at least once during 10 – 15 minutes discussion and told an average of two to three lies in between.
Wow, that says a lot I guess.
Detecting the liars
Have you ever noticed some sort of yawn when someone tells you something? Right, yawn is a technique liars often use.
Another way you can tell when a person is lying is the direction the person looks at while lying.
Psychology says that when people look up their upper right, then they could be lying.
However, you can tell someone is lying by looking for these signs :
- Voice changes
- Still appearance
- Hard pauses
- Weird gestures
- Eyes direction
- Covers parts of the face
- Body confusion
- Pointing fingers
Even though a blue lie for example is intended to be of help to someone or a group, it is still a lie.
In addition that, the types of liars as well would be needful here.
The types of liars are as follows :
- Compulsive liars – The behavior of habitual lying, though compulsive is not a mental disorder
- Sociopathic liars – unlike the pathological liars, sociopathic liars lie on a regular basis often without conscience
- Pathological liars – The compulsive urge to lie about matters big and small, regardless of the situation
- Occasional liars – just as the name implies, they lie on certain occasions
Reasons numbers don’t lie but liars use numbers
Haven known the nature of humans telling a lie and how to detect a lie, we can now believe that humans are really capable of using numbers to lie.
But let’s go deep to further know why numbers don’t lie as to how humans use it to lie.
1. It requires interpretation
You must have been in a situation where you hear someone say some random numbers to you or to another person.
At least I have had someone say it to me, and trust me, I had no single idea what that person meant.
Whether he was insulting me or not I didn’t even know, but if he had lied to me (supposing I asked him), how would I have known?
But all I know, those numbers represents something, but if not interpreted, there’s no way I could be sure of what it meant.
Of course, it could represent a computer password, a phone lock, security code or a even a name in numbers.
Now, all this number did was to pass a message across that needs interpretation in order for you to know what it represents.
However, if the person to interpret what it means lies to you, then the interpreter lied with the numbers by giving you the wrong interpretation intentionally.
2. It represents data
Most times, you need the right information in form of data, to give you a go-ahead with your decisions.
While such data could be in numbers, it is important to know that without the numbers, that kind of information cannot be given.
A good example of this is when you carry out a census.
If you had wanted to provide sufficient job opportunities for people in a certain place, that would be difficult without knowing the exact population of graduates and job seekers.
In that case, the population data will be necessary and it needs to be in numbers.
Whether the population increases or decreases, it still requies data in numbers to prove it.
But if those conducting the census intentionally gives the wrong information for a high population, you know what that means for the masses.
3. It tells the progress of something
Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades and centuries can tell the progress of something.
All these time differences are presented in numbers.
In that case, if you expect a certain task to be completed in 5 hours and it’s already 4 hours gone but the task has not gone half way, you can be sure the progress is poor.
All the number did in that situation was to help you determine how progressive you were with your task.
It haven’t lied to you that you have all day to complete your task, rather it made you realize you had just an hour to complete the task.
4. It tells the level of growth
Taking humans as an example, one way you can tell if a person is a kid, teenager, youth or an adult is when you are told the age of that person.
On the other hand, aside from human beings, a company can also say a lot about it’s level of growth, depending on the company’s efforts staying focus.
For example, a company giving you series of numbers of employees will also tell the level of growth the company has achieved.
Although, the real number of the company’s employees is there and of course, it requires numbers to pass the information across.
If the company is not as big as it stated, it would not have such number of employees.
If someone does not tell you the age of another person, you will be wondering what the growth level of that person could be.
5. It gives facts
Good number of people have to believe in reality for it to be regarded as a fact, and that is also what number is capable of doing.
For example, numbers giving the population size of China in billions is giving a fact right there.
Everyone would agree with the data the numbers are giving, knowing very well that China has a very high population.
Also, if numbers are representing small figure for something people know to be small, then people will believe it’s the fact.
However, all of these will only be giving the right facts if humans don’t manipulate them or someone tempering with it.
6. Makes people wise and experience
Every day that goes by is recorded as part of the days that makes up your age later on.
By that, since you count those days and years in numbers, later on when you get old, wise and experienced, it will be as a result of those numbers.
They are the numbers counting as days and years that enabled you to get to the later age that made you wiser and experienced.
Humans wouldn’t have been wiser if they had not counted their and learning from the days.
Counting them all let’s him learn lessons, knowing that the record from the past days is not pleasant enough.
7. Data is life
If virtually everything we do depends on data to make sure we are all living in the right direction, then it makes sense to say data is life.
You have probably heard that “data is oxygen”
Of course, humans relies on communication, information and access to live a productive life, and even personal development.
However, it is also important for you to know that all of these requires data for it happen on a daily basis.
The more data you put into information, communication and other vital aspects of life, the more meaningful life would be for everyone.
The only problem could be how humans may use to lie.
8. It tells the distance and length of things
When you want to move from one place to another, you barely can tell how far or close that place is.
The only time you get to know about the distance is when it is presented in either kilometers or in miles.
That means if you plan on going to a place you thought was close not knowing it’s miles away, you had been sorry you never knew about it.
But with the distance information, that way you can tell from the information if it’s a place far or near.
If you then want to change your mind or know how long it will take you, then you will know what to decide on.
Also, if something is short, medium or long, it’s still the data that will tell you how long or short that thing is.
This is another prove that numbers don’t lie, because all these data can sometimes be presented falsely by humans.
9. It tells how something is measured
The final prove that numbers don’t lie is that it tells how something is measured.
When someone say I got a million dollars and the other say I got a thousand dollars, of course you can tell who has more money.
Whether you present this in written or spoken form, it will always be a data.
The same thing applies to when you say you have 12 liters of water and another person says he has 5 liters of water.
Comparing the both to know which is greater, you already know that the other person’s liter of water is smaller than yours.
But without physical proof, you know human could lie about it.
That’s why humans need not to manipulate numbers, so it doesn’t seems like it lies.
Anyone could say number lies especially when certain circumstances hits them.
Knownig that numbers don’t lie means humans intentionally manipulating it, then yes, numbers really don’t lie.
Understanding the nature of humans telling lies would also make you draw a conclusion that yes, numbers don’t lie.
The reasons numbers don’t lie are always there, but because we are all humans, they could be unknown to us.Let's connect