When you’re exposed to a strong smell, at first the smell is extremely noticeable, but eventually you stop noticing it as much. With time, any stimulus — a loud noise, a strong perfume, etc. — is likely to provoke a smaller response. The same goes with lying.
We get desensitized to our own lying as the areas of our brain that correlate with negativity become less active. This makes it easier for us to lie in the future.
“The first time you cheat — let’s say you’re cheating on your taxes — you feel quite bad about it,” Tali Sharot, a University College London neuroscientist. But then the next time you cheat, you’re less likely to get that negative feeling. That makes it easier to lie again. And the cycle escalates from there.
Brian Resnick writing in Vox