There isn’t an established, official definition of pathological lying because it’s not considered a mental disorder. Instead it’s observed as a behavioral disturbance that is present inside other disorders like some personality disorders like antisocial personality disorder and some brain disorders like Korsakoff syndrome which is brain damage from alcohol.
Lying is defined as the deliberate attempt to get someone to believe something you know is not true. There are 3 types of lying: normal lying, prolific lying and pathological lying.
Pathological lying is still seen as a different entity that takes lying to a different level. But normal lying and prolific lying were considered behaviors that were non-pathological.
Normal lying was defined as telling less than 5 lies a day. This video discusses the differences between normal, prolific and pathological.
Serota KB, Levine TR, Boster FJ: The prevalence of lying in America: three studies of self-reported lies. Hum Commun Res 2010; 36:2–25
Serota KB, Levine TR: A few prolific liars: variation in the prevalence of lying. J Lang Soc Psychol 2015; 34:138–157
Drew A. Curtis and Christian L. Hart, Pathological Lying: Theoretical and Empirical Support for a Diagnostic Entity. Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice 22 June 2020
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