The Pinocchio Effect

Research has shown that the story of Pinocchio may not be as far-fetched as it seems.

Program Transcript

Do you remember the character Pinocchio? The wooden
puppet whose nose would grow longer every time he told a lie? Well, that story may
not actually be as far-fetched as it may seem.

Researchers from the University of Granada, Spain,
Department of Experimental Psychology have discovered that when a person tells
a lie, there is an increase in the temperature around their nose and in the
orbital muscle in the inner corner of their eyes. They are, of course, calling
it the Pinocchio effect.  Also, researchers
at the University of Notre Dame performed a 10-week study and found that
telling fewer lies can literally improve your health.

This new research shows that when people managed to
reduce their lies, they reported significantly improved physical and mental
health. Notre Dame Psychology professor and lead author, Anita Kelly says, “Participants
could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in
turn was associated with significantly improved health. Those who reduced their
lying suffered less from physical complaints such as sore throats and
headaches, as well as feeling tense or melancholy.”

According to a “Science of Honesty,” recent
evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per person, per week. Frankly,
that seems a bit conservative. With my tongue buried deep in my cheek, I wonder
if they included politicians in their research. Regardless, it does seem to be
a scientific fact that lying is a health hazard. The old saying that honesty
really is the best policy, especially when it comes to your overall health and
well-being holds up in this case.

I always find it fascinating when scientific
advances are touted as if some new truth has been discovered, only to find it
has been revealed in the bible many centuries ago. I like the way the Living
Bible renders what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:25: “Stop lying to each other; tell the
truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are
hurting ourselves.”

Paul also boldly stated in a letter he wrote to Titus
that it is impossible for God to lie. Our triune God is not restricted by time,
space, or any physical force. As other scriptures show, with God anything is possible. But perhaps we
should say nearly anything. His very
character has determined that He will never do some things, because to do them
would be to contradict the nature of his core being. Since he created us, it
follows that he really does know what is best for us. That includes telling the

may remember that Pinocchio’s great dream is to be transformed from being a
wooden puppet into a real boy. Eventually this happens, and he becomes a real
son to the man who made him. Again, an interesting analogy, because God–who,
remember, cannot lie–has told us that he will transform us, restoring us to who
we were meant to. That is the truth, and I tell you this with confidence. My nose
is not getting any longer.

Joseph Tkach – Speaking of LIFE.