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

Site Hardening: Predator-Proof Your Home

Your home is a sanctuary of safety and security. Fortify your walls with common sense and perception. While most of your neighbors are safe, be on alert for those who are not.

How Behavioral Science Can Help Truth Triumph Over Lies

Worried about deceptive political coverage by the media? This article shows how you can take steps to fix this problem!

Is Prescribing a Placebo the Same as Lying?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on April 18, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Is it ever OK to lie? The placebo response is well known. But prescribing a placebo borders on unethical in our age of informed consent. But are placebos happening all the time?
used with permission from iclipart.com

Which Is "Crazier?"

How does a forensic psychologist tease out the mind of a criminal defendant at the time he committed it? Debunking one myth - and investigating one source - at a time.

Why Your Lover Is Lying to You

Why do intimate partners deceive each other? There are some common and logical reasons.

On Raising an Honest Child

How do we teach our kids to be honest, even if it means admitting to breaking the rules? Research on children's lying behavior might be able to provide us with some helpful hints.

Money Laundering for the Soul

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on April 05, 2017 in Insight Therapy
What explains our ability to suspend our moral principles and inflict cruelty on others, in clear violation of the moral principles we claim to espouse?
Simon & Schuster

Pseudocide: The Art of Faking Your Death

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 04, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Writer explores those who want to fake their deaths, those who hunt them down, those who fail and those who succeed. Everything you want to know but were afraid to ask.

Addiction and Self-Deception

Why do addicts hold on to false beliefs about their use?

The Brain Science of Political Deception in the Election

Confused by why so many people were deceived in the 2016 election? This article uses recent research to provide some clarity.

Why Do Teens Lie? Part 1

Lying has many shades of gray. Kids are good at it.

Making Sense of FBI Director James Comey's Testimony

By Joe Navarro M.A. on March 27, 2017 in Spycatcher
Too often we talk about politicians talking to Russian as though there were no threat—there is always a threat with Putin in charge.

In Defense of Language

It is critical that we respect our only means of making sense of our world.

Facts, Truths, Beliefs, Opinions, and "Alternative Facts"

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Think Well
In this time of "alternative facts," it's helpful to understand that a "fact" is a fact precisely because the "alternatives" have been disproven!
Wikimedia Commons

Is Using Profanity a Sign of Honesty?

A recent paper suggests that profanity may be a reflection of emotional honesty and candor. However, closer examination of the studies' results casts doubt on this idea.

What Happens When You Lie by Telling the Truth?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on March 22, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Deception is a common activity among people. There are many ways to do it, and they have different influences on ourselves and other people.
Stockfresh

Is Your Relationship Toxic?

You may not realize your relationship is harming you or be able to leave. Find out the symptoms, whether there's hope for change, and steps you can put into action.
Richard McDowell/Shutterstock

Self-Deception Helps Us Accomplish Goals

By Tim Cole Ph.D. on March 20, 2017 in Intimate Portrait
More often than not, we lead with our goals and desires, not the facts. New research on how our ability to delude ourselves can be quite useful.
eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

Tears of Pain and Tears of Joy

Crying can be a powerful expression of pain or joy; however it can also be used as a manipulative device. Genuine crying is a window into a person's emotional condition.

What's the Difference Between Me and You?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What makes me me and you you?

How to Talk About Politics in a Post-Truth World

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Political discussions are increasingly devolving into accusations of “lying" and "fake news.” How do we have real conversations in this world of “alternative facts"?

Do Dogs Ever Lie to or Try to Deceive People?

New data shows that dogs are capable of being deceptive around people when it is in their own self-interest.

From Post-Truth to Post-Lies

Worried about the dominance of "alternative facts" and "post-truth politics?" Behavioral science points the way to solving this problem!

When Silence Is Deafening

By Kaja Perina on March 07, 2017 in Brainstorm
A tiny act or calculation, including the decision to keep a secret, can eventually and invisibly sculpt a person’s relationships, even his or her identity.
K. Ramsland

The Predator's Advantage

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
The predator's advantage involves a clear plan, with an escape route.

After Cheating: Restoring Relationship Trust

After so many lies and secrets, can trust ever be restored?

Texas Bill Could Enable Doctors to Legally Lie to You

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Naked Truth
Although Texas Senate Bill 25 may seem to be about abortion and your right to sue your doctor—it is actually fundamentally about medical ethics and honesty.

The Elephant in the Room

Concern over Donald Trump's mental health has 26,000 mental health professionals stating that he is unfit to serve as president of the United States. We agree and here's why.

Why do People Lie? Part Two.

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 25, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? Strategic lying is all around us. So we form groups with people who share our values and we can trust. We are desperate to trust.