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

How to Sharpen Your Sixth Sense

Elevate your intuition from good to great.

Why Do Dogs Turn in Circles Before Lying Down?

New data helps to explain why dogs spin around in circles before laying down — it's all about comfort.

What the film Altered Minds Reveals about Family Secrets

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on January 26, 2016 The Squeaky Wheel
Part two of my interview with the director of 'Altered Minds'--focusing on family secrets.

The One Penis Policy

This blog explores the phenomenon of the One Penis Policy in which some men in polyamorous relationships attempt to limit their female partners access to other men.

4 Truths About Lies and Liars

By Jennifer Haupt on January 21, 2016 One True Thing
As much as we say we detest being lied to, most of us stretch the truth an average of three times during a 10-minute conversation. Is it sometimes better to lie—and be lied to?

For the Sake of Blueberries and Sex

We Love to Believe A Good Story, Can Blueberries Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?

Why No-Nonsense Classrooms Are Less Terrible Than Usual Ones

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on January 18, 2016 Freedom to Learn
Recently, we've heard of the success of "no-nonsense teaching." Here's what I like about it. It makes no bones about the fact that children are little prisoners who must ....

How the Experts Spot Liars (and How You Can, Too)

Thoughts from an expert lie detector...

Laziness and Procrastination

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on January 13, 2016 Don't Delay
"I am so lazy." What should we think of this?

Psychopaths at Work

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 01, 2016 A Sideways View
There is increasing interest in the "normal psychopath". How do your recognise them and how should you react to them in the work place?

Why Ted Cruz’s Facial Expression Makes Me Uneasy

We learn to read faces from birth, and easily tell a natural smile from a forced one. The Senator’s expressions feel atypical, which leaves me feeling uneasy.

The United States Is Not So Religious

Are we really a religious nation? History suggests a different story from the one you've probably been told. And what role does religion play in debates about the environment?

Dirty Little Secrets of Exxon

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on December 31, 2015 The Green Mind
The fossil fuel industry has mimicked the cigarette industry in keeping the huge downside of their products from the public eye. Generations will live with these consequences.

Um... Little Words Can Signal Big Lies... You Know

The little words people use can detect deception

In Defense of Parents Who Don’t Lie About Santa

Many parents who don't lie about Santa spin tales of being berated by parents who do. Here I argue that this practice should stop.

Death of Happiness is Greatly Exaggerated

By Mario D Garrett PhD on December 22, 2015 iAge
Is happiness really not important are we just itching for some dramatic results?

Can You Be Conned?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on December 22, 2015 Shadow Boxing
During a season of gift giving and charity come plenty of scams. A new book will educate you in how to be prepared.

Let’s Get Santa Right: A Reply

In response to my argument that parents shouldn't lie to their children about Santa, David Ottlinger suggests I don't understand the function of the Santa myth. I offer my reply.

Lemon Puts the Squeeze on Trump - A Fantasy Interview

Donald Trump has mesmerized many frustrated, frightened and angry Americans. What is a way to break the spell he has them under? What if we they saw him through different eyes?

Is Lying Part of Loving?

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on December 18, 2015 Rediscovering Love
The idea that lying occurs in all intimate relationships may be hard to accept. Maybe harder to acknowledge, some of those lies may actually be necessary for love to thrive.

The Anti-Bullying Eye Emoji and Questions about Human Agency

What would it mean if the image of an eye was enough to get us to better our behavior?

When Intuitions Meet Reality

By Jesse Marczyk on December 14, 2015 Pop Psych
Much of psychological literature involves research in which participants are in some way—major or minor, though omission or explicitly—deceived. Is this ethical?

Brutal Honesty is the New Prozac

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on December 11, 2015 Obesely Speaking
Beating depression like it owes you money.

The Long and Short Cons of Master Manipulators

A sophisticated con game was being run on a US Air Force base — with the government's unwitting cooperation. Here's how I discovered and exposed it.

Detecting Deception by Observing Hand-to-Face Touching

In an effort to reduce the stress, liars increase hand-to-face touching.

When Children Learn About Other's Minds, They Learn to Lie

By Art Markman Ph.D. on December 01, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Lying is a pretty sophisticated behavior. When you lie to someone else, you need to understand that when you tell them something that you know is not true, that they come to believe the false information. That means that you need to understand that their belief and your belief will differ.

When Psychologists Deny Guantanamo’s Abuses

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on December 01, 2015 Dangerous Ideas
Disgruntled factions are pursuing a deceptive and self-protective campaign aimed at discrediting the recent Hoffman Report, which documented extensive and compelling evidence of collusion between leaders of the American Psychological Association and Department of Defense officials. The latest entry comes from the leadership of the APA's military psychology division.

Gullibility Gulag

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on November 29, 2015 One Among Many
At a 'congress' of Russian stagemen and women (you can't call them scientists), alternative worldviews were free-wheelingly bandied about.

Why Don't Bankers Learn?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 28, 2015 Hidden Motives
Banks Keep on Incurring Massive Penalties.

Save Me From the Fact-Checkers

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Mental Mishaps
Politicians lie. They also exaggerate and misremember. Each creates an autobiographical past that makes a great story but which probably isn’t completely true. But we are just like the lying politicians except for one critical difference.