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—  like combovers or nodding when you’re not really 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 I Learned to Stop Lying

By Jennifer Haupt on February 21, 2017 in One True Thing
I couldn’t tolerate even one person knowing what had happened to me — even my therapist. The shame was crippling.

Why Do People Lie?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 20, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Everyone lies, some to save face, others to deceive for personal gain. This blog explores white lies, those untruths we say to preserve our value in the eyes of someone else.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: No Stealing

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on February 19, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Taking over a loved one's time, attention, property, space or decisions without explicit permission from him or her is stealing. Boundary violations can threaten a relationship.

The Abuse of Language by Groups Seeking Social Change

By Hank Davis on February 16, 2017 in Caveman Logic
You're driving me crazy with your over-the-top language

The Con of Propaganda

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Insight Therapy
If you don’t hear much about propaganda, that’s what you’re hearing.

When Children Lie

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Research into how effective adults are in detecting deception in children have turned up some surprising findings.
Gage Skidmore

The Science of Solving Alternative Facts

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Worried about the dominance of "alternative facts" in politics? This article has some tips for solving this problem!

Think Someone Might Be Lying to You? Time Will Tell.

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Across human communication contexts, nothing is more important than truth. A new meta-analysis describes one important feature that distinguishes fact from fiction.

“Is Your Pet a Psychopath?”

How did deception evolve, and how do you know it's there? Learn these 4 simple, but overlooked signs.

Why Do Americans Like Sociopaths?

What makes sociopathy so alluring, so exciting? Nominations are open for the Madoff Prize.

“It Takes One to Know One,” Truth or Half-Truth?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
Besides my title, consider these expressions: “That’s the pot calling the kettle black”; “I know you are, but what am I?”; “Look who’s talking!” or You should talk!” or even...

The Burden of Memory (part 1)

Recent cognitive science supports the view that memories are confabulations of the past rehearsed for the future. What about historical memory?

Psychopaths, Sadists, and the Lure of Internet Aggression

By Traci Stein Ph.D., MPH on February 07, 2017 in The Integrationist
Internet trolls create chaos on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Read on to learn who they are, what motivates them, and why you should stop feeding them.
J. Krueger

Just Teasing

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in One Among Many
Teasing destroys trust (exceptions are noted).
CRC Press

Was it Really a Suicide?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 05, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
A new book shows investigators how to interpret seemingly innocent 911 calls that might actually be from a killer.

Why U.S. Presidents Should be Psychologically Vetted

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in Think Well
In the United States, most responsible occupations require specific training, passing a licensing exam, and/or rigorous psychological screening. Why, then, not the presidency?

How Sure Are You About Your Memories?

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on January 28, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Your memories may be lying to you! This article helps you be honest with yourself.

Is the Truth Out There? A Way to Discover Who’s Lying to You

New research suggests how to detect the liars lurking in your life.

Alternative Facts, Weather Forecasts, and White (House) Lies

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 27, 2017 in A Logical Take
We’ve come full circle. The most radically left postmodern idea— that truth is relative—is being embraced by the most radically conservative White House administration.

Does Torture Work?

Surveying professional interrogators in the USA and other countries reveals that ‘rapport-based’ interrogation techniques are viewed as generally the most effective, not torture.

Team Trump's Troubling Relationship with Truth

By Victor Lipman on January 26, 2017 in Mind of the Manager
It's common for business people to "spin" the facts a bit, but spinning and lying are very different.

A Simple Lie Detection Technique You Can Actually Use

To recognize deception, we need a technique that can be readily applied and which minimizes false positive and false negatives.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

By David Ludden Ph.D. on January 24, 2017 in Talking Apes
The Miranda ruling was intended to protect the innocent from making false confessions. But does it work?

6 Reasons People Lie When They Don’t Need To

By David J Ley Ph.D. on January 23, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Pathological liars actually have a reason to their rhyme, though it may seem irrational to the rest of us.

Trump Inauguration: (Crowd) Size Matters, So Who's Lying?

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 23, 2017 in A Logical Take
If the Media's lying about Trump having the biggest inauguration crowd in history, that's troubling. If Trump is scolding the press for not corroborating his lies, that's chilling.

American Psychopathy, Ascendant

By Yosef Brody Ph.D. on January 19, 2017 in Future Directions
The ultimate merger of state power, corporate power and human psychopathy forebodes a whole new level of ruthless and calculated exploitation

Marketing is Evil

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 17, 2017 in How To Do Life
Marketers use many psychological ploys to make you buy what you shouldn't.
istock getty images

The Gullibility of a President-Elect

By Stephen Greenspan Ph.D. on January 16, 2017 in Incompetence
Using the Russian hacking case as example, explaining how the President-Elect himself is gullible.
K. Ramsland

The Measure of Cunning

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on January 15, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
We have many instruments for measuring IQ and personality traits, even psychopathy, but we need a precise instrument to learn more about criminal street smarts.

Not Exactly a Lie, but...

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on January 13, 2017 in Trust
Why do we try to avoid lying, when we so often deceive by other means?