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

Ice Breakers: How to Warm Up a Training Group

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in A Sideways View
There are some really interesting psychological games and exercises which can help you get any group going? Here, four of the best are described

Can You Stop Thinking?

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Out of the Darkness
Why do our minds chatter away so much? Why involuntary mental chatter is bad for us, and how can we quieten it.

One Pilot’s Suicide Prompts a Call for Common Sense

By Julie K Hersh on March 29, 2015 in Struck By Living
The Germanwings crash causes a new look at regulations for pilots. Do current FAA regulations cause pilots to hide depression and bipolar disease, resulting in more severe illness?

Suicide and the Criminal

In the news as this blog is written is a "mass murder" of 149 passengers and suicide committed by an airplane pilot.

Where's the Line Between Acceptance and Narcissism?

A commenter to an earlier post about loving yourself asks important questions: "Where does one draw a line between acceptance and narcissism? How does one begin to accept themselves when doing so feels wrong and narcissistic?” In my latest post, I try to offer an answer.

Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann: Creativity in Psychotherapy

Treatment of psychotic patients is very difficult and many practitioners believe that it is impossible to employ psychotherapy ef with such patients. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was a courageous and creative therapist who extended and improved treatment in dramatic and sustaining ways. Her work has been a model for all mental health practitioners treating severely ill patients.

It’s Complicated: Ten Years After

By A Guest Blogger on March 27, 2015 in Brainstorm
Grief is a fickle and complicated lifelong journey that can assault its victims with debilitating symptoms at any time after its origin. Understanding that grief knows no time limit can ease the path toward acceptance.

Affairs: The Healing Process

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on March 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Affairs are devastating on so many levels, but at its core it is about trust and loss. A map for moving through the normal healing process.

Brian Williams, Journalism, and Celebrity Culture

When journalists start living in a celebrity bubble, bad things can happen. Just ask Brian Williams. His downfall reminds us of the malleability of memory, and it also poses a cautionary tale to all journalists, particularly to the trend in journalism education to promote "entrepreneurial" journalism -- teaching aspiring journalists to cultivate their own "brand".

Smart Strategies to Detect a Liar Online

More than 20 million people visit online dating services every months. But there is a lot of creeps out there. Some online-daters put up photos from 20 years ago. Some lie about their age, their job situation, their marital status, or their personality traits. Given all this uncertainty, how do you best navigate through the jungle of online profiles?

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

5 Steps to Optimal Illusion

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in Ambigamy
Self-deceptively, most people consider themselves more realistic than average and consider it a virtue to only want the truth. Fact is, none of us do. It's more realistic to admit you're not always realistic. Here's a guess at the path to optimal illusion, kidding ourselves where it helps, not where it hurts.

Ethical (and Effective) Letters for Job Seekers

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in How To Do Life
Job-seekers' letters are much more likely to be helpful if they are more human, honest and devoid of job-seeker jargon than the typical such letter. And your letter is much more likely to meet those criteria if you write it yourself, even if it's less well-written than if you hire a resume writer.

Does Anxiety Help You Survive in the Modern World?

Might the worrisome symptoms of anxiety have a useful function? Our ancestors needed to worry about lions, tigers, bears, and the headhunters over the next hill. But is anxiety still useful in the modern world? There are some scientific findings on this question.

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

We are used to thinking of creativity as an entirely positive attribute. However, new research on malevolent creativity suggests that the truly creative may put their novel thinking to dangerous uses under the right circumstances.

Cold Hearts or Broken Brains?

I remember the very first feeling I had, was my heart pounding. I mean really pounding. The second feeling I had was that my hands were sweating. And the third feeling was fear, and the kind of reality set in that there was a murderer in front of me.

Mistat: How the other guy becomes the one who started it

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Ambigamy
It's popularly understood that game theory suggests that tit for tat is a common, appropriate strategy. If you're attacked, attack back. But this simple version of game theory overlooks a human problem with tit for tat: Often an attack is ambiguous. We mistake an innocuous move as an attack and tat when we haven't been titted.

Momentary Living

For me, it’s been a 30-year career in psycho-oncology and palliative care. The struggle and the central questions have always been the same, however I didn’t always realize it.

The Transience of Trust

Do you trust me? When, where, and how much we trust our children can be an important question to ask. Teens tend to go for an all-or-nothing approach to trust, and we as parents can do the same. Trust depends upon the time, place, and situation. It grows and diminishes, but can always be improved upon.

A Few Drinks After Work

Nadine fools herself into thinking she can manage her drinking, but psychological assessment indicates danger unless she gets needed help. Six questions can help you see if you or someone you love needs help.

Reservoir Dogs

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Why Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs paints the perfect portrait of the spectrum of psychopathic personalities.

When Love Kills

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
In 1850s Rome, cloistered nuns got entangled in fraud, murder, sexual hijinks, and what the investigators “false holiness.” The Inquisition kept the scandal buried until 1998. Now the story’s out and it has much to tell us about love, hero-worship, crime, and neoteny.

Why Robert Durst Confessed

By Stanton Peele on March 16, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Robert Durst seemingly went out of the way to confess to his crimes (if that is what he did). Why would he take such a risk as he ages and is in poor health?

What Affairs Are (and Are Not): Find Out If You're At Risk

Affairs may feel good in the moment but the wreckage they can create is definitely not worth it. The good news is that they are preventable. All you need is some awareness and tools.

Close Encounters with Criminal Minds

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 15, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
During the late 19th century a pathologist-turned-criminologist founded the technique of criminal autobiographies; from within the stories came deep truths.

Embracing the Fear at the Heart of Depression

Depression can make you tumble and fall as well as climb and grow.

Displaced, Replaced, Erased

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on March 13, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
Of all of the possible experiences people endure when they are abandoned in love, rejection is probably the most painful.

4 Ways To Be A More Authentic Person

People are attracted to authenticity. Here are four techniques that help you be your most authentic self, even in uncomfortable situations.

Are You Too Clingy? Too Distant? Or Is Your Partner?

By Peg Streep on March 11, 2015 in Tech Support
Our childhood experiences can influence us in our day-to-day adult lives, especially in the arena of intimate relationships. Are you able to find the balance between being yourself and part of a dyad? If not, you should probably read this...

Synchronicity

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on March 10, 2015 in Time Out
“There’s no such thing as co-incidence,” the midwife asserted with a knowing smile. Do you agree? Many folks do.