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

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

4 Shocking Lies About Weight: Part 2

Does obesity take years off your life?

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

Hiding From Relationship—In Relationship

The suppression of the emotional vitality that we call passion is both the benefit and the cost of irrelationship, and a side effect of the process that creates it. Relationships can be enlisted in the service of defense in many ways. In irrelationship, the enlistment is constructed by two people, and enforced by both.

The Scientific Case for Owning Up to Your Porn Use

Many people believe that porn use should be hidden from a relationship partner. However, a new study suggests that when women think their partners are honest about their porn use, they tend to be happier with their relationships.

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

By The Book Brigade on March 03, 2015 in The Author Speaks
The millions of teens and adults who engage in self-destructive behavior do so because they never learned more constructive ways of soothing themselves in moments of distress. Many have engaged in such behaviors for so long that they can't envision a way out. But it's possible to replace self-destructive acts with kinder means of coping.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 2 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." This is part 2 of a 3-part post explaining why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

The Borderline Mother II

A borderline mother can you hurt a child (even an adult child) in the blink of an eye. Here's what happens and how you can respond.

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for a child abuser? For a child molester? How can anyone be empathic with someone who has done something so terrible? Why would they want to? Do the perpetrators possibly deserve such a thing? For a judge or prosecutor, of course not. For stopping repetitive dysfunctional family interactions that trigger someone's self-destructive behavior? Necessary.

Treatment for Borderline Disorder May Reduce Distortions

By Randi Kreger on March 01, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
My teenage sister was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. We have a difficult relationship, and sometimes I feel like interacting with her is just not worth the trouble. For example, I have caught her lying on too many occasions to count, and she always makes excuses. Now, she blames it on her psychological problems. Can lying be treated?

Why You Can't (and Shouldn't) Be Happy Most of the Time

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
We work very hard to reach goals, anticipating the happiness that they will bring us. After a brief fix of “yippee," however, we quickly slide back to our sorry-ass, humdrum, ordinary state of being. Studies of lottery winners and others who seem to "have it all" throw cold water on our dream of a different life. And yet, we persist. Why?

Why You Should be More Grateful

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 01, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Despite its many benefits, gratitude is hard to cultivate.

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

Addiction Speaks

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on February 27, 2015 in In Flux
Addiction comes in many shapes and forms. Not all addictions are alike in their severity and duration. Even those addictions that are less severe and less life-threatening can hold us in its clutches for years on end. This entry includes a letter written to Veronica by her "addict self." What emerges from our own depths and from our own will to heal is often poignant.

The Bystander Effect

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on February 27, 2015 in The Time Cure
We’d all like to think that when we see something bad happening that we’d step forward to render aid. But in reality most of us don’t. And although some people won’t take the initiative to help, they will take the time to photograph or videotape the event and post it on the internet. Why?

Think You Can't Get Drunk on Soda Water? Think Again.

Don't blame it on the alcohol! Blame it on your expectations about drinking.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

Study: Dogs Can Identify Liars, and They Don't Trust Them

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 24, 2015 in Canine Corner
Dogs keep track of whether people lie or tell the truth, and they use these memories to determine whether they can trust particular humans and any new information that they get from them.

Can Liars Be Caught by Aviation Security?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
If you travel frequently, then you have probably endured more than one security screening interview at an airport. At passport control, for example, border agents ask a few questions, stare at your passport, check you on electronic databases, and then send you on your way.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

There Is No Choice but to Trust

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on February 23, 2015 in Am I Right?
Whenever we lie to a friend or don’t keep our word to colleagues or jump the line at the checkout counter, we undermine the very thing that makes life doable.

Live as if You’ll Die Tomorrow—Write a Will Today

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Naked Truth
Writing a will is not something most of us think about. Or talk about. Or want to think or talk about. Because writing one reminds us that we are all going to die. Yet, until we find the scientific fountain of youth, death is inevitable. If you want any control over what happens to your belongings and dependents (such as your children and pets), write a will today.

Tossing the Soap

By Judith E Glaser on February 22, 2015 in Conversational Intelligence
When you are playing at Level III you are at the top of your game – in fact you expand the game beyond the obvious – stretching your ‘toss’ to reach farther with others – opening the space for better tosses and better adjustments as you co-create for mutual success.

The Sound Of Silence

By Lynne Soraya on February 21, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
I have recently come face-to-face with a fact about myself: I have a problem with silence. I’m not really sure why.

Confessing Your Office Romance

By Sean M. Horan Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Adventures in Dating
Workplace romances are common...but how do employees learn that two people are dating at work? My latest research study describes this process.

Fake vs. True Forgiveness

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Undeniably, forgiving others for their wrongs to you has many practical, as well as spiritual, advantages. But the problem is that too often it takes place in the head, rather than the heart. Primarily an intellectual act, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Rational, logical, and objective, it assumes—wrongly—that mental effort alone can talk the heart out of its feelings.

Shades of Play: Trauma Reenactment Versus Trauma Play

Psychologists still quite commonly use childhood abuse to explain and pathologize those who enjoy BDSM. This article discusses the difference between trauma reenactment and trauma play, and provides insights into why some therapists may be mistakenly shaming clients into trying to correct what is actually a healthy form of human sexual expression.

Is It Irrational to Decide to Have Children?

People choose to have children on the grounds of mistaken beliefs. And we can’t really blame them. Cognitive dissonance, or what is better known as self-deception, leads people who already have kids to testify to the great wonders of parenthood.

5 Things You Need to Know About Body Language

If you want to become a “master” of nonverbal communication, there are some things you need to know.

7 Bad Ways To Quit If You Want A Fresh Start

By Peg Streep on February 16, 2015 in Tech Support
When you leave a situation, a job, or a relationship, what's your quitting style? You will want to avoid all seven of these for sure......