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Hands up – Who has ever lied about their salary…?

If you’ve lied about your salary at dinner parties, you’re not alone – with one in ten Brits having apparently exaggerated about what they earn at dinner parties.

Job titles, too, are often embellished, while lies about owning a second property, the value of their houses, qualifications, speaking another language and the places they’ve travelled also feature high on dinner party guests’ fib lists.

And according to the research, when it comes to getting caught out, a brazen 86 per cent said they usually get away with it, although 14 per cent said they were caught out when their child or other half gave the game away.

The research revealed one in five blames nerves over meeting new people for exaggerating, but 14 per cent said they were prone to embellishing the truth after a few drinks.

And the reason for the fibs? One in five people stretch the truth to impress a new crowd and one in ten said it was purely to keep up with the Jones’.

Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman explained: “The tendency to ‘show off’ is ingrained in human beings and is largely an unconscious effort to establish a pecking order. Just as in the natural world, animals do all sorts of things do make themselves look bigger and more impressive than they really are.

“This is a natural trait that has evolved through sexual selection because the animals that manage to convince potential mates that they’ve got it all going on are the most successful, and the most likely to leave a large number of offspring to carry on the boastful genes.

“Many of us are anxious that we don’t measure up to the other people in our social circle and after a few glasses of wine it can be very easy to turn our college anecdotes about inter-railing into a tale of derring-do worthy of Indiana Jones.

“Women and men alike are prone to this sort of behaviour, although traditional default gender roles can influence the sort of things they brag about, with men more likely to show off and exaggerate how much money they earn, and women are more likely to inflate their postcode or value of property.”

The research was carried out by online furniture company Swoon.