All About Deception

Studies show that the average person lies several times a day. Some of those are biggies (“I’ve always been faithful to you,”) but more often, they are little white lies (“Of course that dress looks good on you!”) Some forms of deception aren’t exactly lies: combovers, nodding when you’re not listening. And then there are lies we tell ourselves, for reasons that run the gamut from healthy maintenance of self-esteem, to serious delusions beyond our control. 

Recent posts on Deception

Throat Clearing May Indicate Deception

Throat clearing along with an Adam’s apple jump indicates stress and anxiety.

Chirality: A Look at Emotional Asymmetry of The Face

By Joe Navarro M.A. on May 21, 2016 in Spycatcher
The face sometimes reveals multiple emotions at once—here is a look at emotional asymmetry of the face., used with permission

Dangerous Lies

Are there some secrets worth killing for? For two men leading double lives, the answer was yes.

Can You Catch Your Kids In a Lie?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 17, 2016 in Open Gently
Some liars are better than others. Don't be sure you know when your child is telling the truth.

Love Games of Master Manipulators

Manipulative lovers aren't interested in commitment and faithfulness, and they will have only contempt for your “weakness” in embracing these values.

A Family Health Portrait

The majority of people with mutations that cause the most common hereditary cancer syndromes are not aware of their mutations.

Born Yesterday

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 14, 2016 in Talking Apes
Social learning helps us to acquire information quickly from others. But not all social models are reliable, and even infants know who to trust and who to disregard.

Where Do You Go After Trust Has Been Broken?

You don't have to resort to spying or testing your partner. Decide how you want to live and live that way.

Cheats and Deceits: Trickery and Deception Are Widespread

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
An excellent new book explains how animals and plants exploit and mislead.

How Outcome Switching is Corrupting Medical Research

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on April 30, 2016 in Side Effects
According to two new studies, outcome switching in clinical trials is widespread.

Emotional Illusion: "The Queen of the Human Heart"

We may be inclined to hold an illusion as truth, especially when seeking pleasure or in matters of the heart.

The Whole Foods Cake Case: Why Do People Fake Victimhood?

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 in Friendship 2.0
What would motivate a person to create a hoax and claim victimhood, like what's assumed in the Whole Foods cake case? Several factors are likely at play.

Are Your Memories Lying to You?

By Lee Eisenberg on April 13, 2016 in The Point Is
Without our memories we'd have no life story. Without our life story, nothing would make sense. But does it matter whether or not our memories are "true"?

Overcoming the Comfort of Credibility

Sometimes we learn the hard way that credentials do not translate into character. Beware of cloaking impressive people with more credit than they deserve.

Book Review: Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Before the Gospels

In Jesus Before the Gospels, Ehrman presents a much needed, brilliant argument—one that challenges longstanding assumptions about the reliability of the Gospels.

The Truth About Lying Politicians

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Ambigamy
Yes they lie, but we all do. The question isn't whether to lie but when? When does it help and when does it hurt? Not as easy to answer as we'd like to think.

Lying Vows

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on April 03, 2016 in Naked Truth
Romantic love dominates our lives. It occupies our thoughts, experiences, and desires. Yet when we attempt to honor the specialness of the bond, we often lie.

Shoot for Now, Ask Questions Later

Deadline gorillas. They chase us to get that assignment done or to fill in tax returns. Zap'em dead with hyperbolic discounting.

Getting Your Lying Teen to Level With You

Nothing can be more infuriating than a lying teenager. Here's what to do...

What Children of Narcissists Sometimes Do

As counterintuitive as it may feel in the narcissistic dynamic (especially with a parent), focus on the self is key to healing.

The President Apologizes

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
What it takes to win...and whether it's worth it.

Guidelines For Dealing With A Partner's Affair

Affairs can end the relationship or strengthen it and they are always occasions for re-evaluation.

Who Is the Real Donald J. Trump?

The veneer of debate and public life can, indeed, conceal who a person is. However, there is now ample information to construct the person behind the mask.

Can People with ADHD really tell, "Honest Lies"?

Children and Adults with ADHD may be more prone to lying for these reasons.
K. Ramsland

Murder Kits

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 20, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
What killers pack in their murder bags reveals not just methods but also rituals and levels of ingenuity.

Teens and Porn

The internet has definitely made sexually explicit pictures and videos easily and widely accessible to anyone wanting to partake in a peep show and that includes your teen.

Can One Simple Exercise Really Improve Your Self-Esteem?

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on March 08, 2016 in Living Forward
Psychology Today reader Christine Medina decided to try one simple exercise to improve her self-esteem for 30 days. Read about her journey and decide if you should try it too.
sgtphoto purchased via

Hillary Plays the Cynicism Card

Cynicism results from the frustration of our needs for meaning and purpose and plagues our politics.

Fear, Loathing, and Denial at the End of the World

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on February 29, 2016 in The Green Mind
The antics of some presidential candidates—shouting, insults, sexism, and racism—are making many people cringe. We need adults in the room to deal with society’s major problems.

Reinventing How We Select Our Political Leaders

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 26, 2016 in How To Do Life
So many people are upset by the current system. There's a better way.