A manager gives an employee overly-positive feedback to boost their confidence. A doctor gives a patient a too-rosy prognosis to foster hope. A government official conceals a security threat to prevent widespread panic.
These are relatively understandable scenarios in which an individual tells a lie because they think they are helping someone. In each case, however, it’s unclear whether the lie actually makes the recipients better off. Employees could benefit from honest criticism in order to improve; patients may benefit from a candid prognosis; citizens might take actions to make themselves less vulnerable to security threats.
read more in hbr.org