When the possibility of a sexual or romantic encounter reveals itself, the study finds people are very likely to present themselves in a deceptive manner in order to appear as attractive as possible to their potential new mate. According to scientists from both the University of Rochester and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel, as our “sexual systems” are activated in the presence of an attractive stranger, it is common for people to embellish, conform, change their attitudes regarding certain topics, and outright lie all to make a good first impression.

To be clear, what the research team have dubbed “the activation of the sexual system,” doesn’t actually entail physical sexual arousal. Instead, it refers to when our brains first become aware that we are attracted to someone nearby and begins to formulate sexual thoughts and inclinations.