Deception is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage.Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand, as well as distraction, camouflage, or concealment. There is also self-deception, as in bad faith. It can also be called, with varying subjective implications, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, ruse, or subterfuge.
Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies, religious organizations and the media can also produce propaganda.
Sleight of hand refers to fine motor skills when used by performing artists in different art forms to entertain or manipulate. It is closely associated with close-up magic, card magic, card flourishing and stealing.
Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.
Deception is a major relational transgression that often leads to feelings of betrayal and distrust between relational partners. Deception violates relational rules and is considered to be a negative violation of expectations. Most people expect friends, relational partners, and even strangers to be truthful most of the time. If people expected most conversations to be untruthful, talking and communicating with others would require distraction and misdirection to acquire reliable information. A significant amount of deception occurs between some romantic and relational partners.
Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is the act of supporting a rival group, or it is a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the others. Someone who betrays others is commonly called a traitor or betrayer. Betrayal is also a commonly used literary element, also used in other fiction like films and TV series, and is often associated with or used as a plot twist.
Romance is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards, another person, and the courtship behaviors undertaken by an individual to express those overall feelings and resultant emotions.
Deceit and dishonesty can also form grounds for civil litigation in tort, or contract law (where it is known as misrepresentation or fraudulent misrepresentation if deliberate), or give rise to criminal prosecution for fraud. It also forms a vital part of psychological warfare in denial and deception.
The tort of deceit is a type of legal injury that occurs when a person intentionally and knowingly deceives another person into an action that damages them. Specifically, deceit requires that the tortfeasor
A concept of English law, a misrepresentation is an untrue or misleading statement of fact made during negotiations by one party to another, the statement then inducing that other party into the contract. The misled party may normally rescind the contract, and sometimes may be awarded damages as well.
In law, fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud itself can be a civil wrong, a criminal wrong, or it may cause no loss of money, property or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, such as obtaining a passport or travel document, driver's license or qualifying for a mortgage by way of false statements.
Deception includes several types of communications or omissions that serve to distort or omit the complete truth. Examples of deception range from false statements to misleading claims in which relevant information is omitted, leading the receiver to infer false conclusions. For example, a claim that 'sunflower oil is beneficial to brain health due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids' may be misleading, as it leads the receiver to believe sunflower oil will benefit brain health more so than other foods. In fact, sunflower oil is relatively low in omega-3 fatty acids and is not particularly good for brain health, so while this claim is technically true, it leads the receiver to infer false information. Deception itself is intentionally managing verbal or nonverbal messages so that the message receiver will believe in a way that the message sender knows is false. Intent is critical with regard to deception. Intent differentiates between deception and an honest mistake. The Interpersonal Deception Theory explores the interrelation between communicative context and sender and receiver cognitions and behaviors in deceptive exchanges.
Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.
Interpersonal deception theory (IDT) attempts to explain how individuals handle actual deception at the conscious or subconscious level while engaged in face-to-face communication. IDT assumes that communication is not static; it is influenced by personal goals and the meaning of the interaction as it unfolds. The sender's overt communications are affected by the overt and covert communications of the receiver, and vice versa. Intentional deception requires greater cognitive exertion than truthful communication, regardless of whether the sender attempts falsification (lying), concealment or equivocation. IDT explores the interrelation between the sender's communicative meaning and the receiver's thoughts and behavior in deceptive exchanges.
Some forms of deception include:
Many people believe that they are good at deception, though this confidence is often misplaced.
Buller and Burgoon (1996) have proposed three taxonomies to distinguish motivations for deception based on their Interpersonal Deception Theory:
Deception detection between relational partners is extremely difficult, unless a partner tells a blatant or obvious lie or contradicts something the other partner knows to be true. While it is difficult to deceive a partner over a long period of time, deception often occurs in day-to-day conversations between relational partners.Detecting deception is difficult because there are no known completely reliable indicators of deception and because people often reply on a truth-default state. Deception, however, places a significant cognitive load on the deceiver. He or she must recall previous statements so that his or her story remains consistent and believable. As a result, deceivers often leak important information both verbally and nonverbally.
Deception and its detection is a complex, fluid, and cognitive process that is based on the context of the message exchange. The interpersonal deception theory posits that interpersonal deception is a dynamic, iterative process of mutual influence between a sender, who manipulates information to depart from the truth, and a receiver, who attempts to establish the validity of the message.A deceiver's actions are interrelated to the message receiver's actions. It is during this exchange that the deceiver will reveal verbal and nonverbal information about deceit. Some research has found that there are some cues that may be correlated with deceptive communication, but scholars frequently disagree about the effectiveness of many of these cues to serve as reliable indicators. Noted deception scholar Aldert Vrij even states that there is no nonverbal behavior that is uniquely associated with deception. As previously stated, a specific behavioral indicator of deception does not exist. There are, however, some nonverbal behaviors that have been found to be correlated with deception. Vrij found that examining a "cluster" of these cues was a significantly more reliable indicator of deception than examining a single cue.
Mark Frank proposes that deception is detected at the cognitive level.Lying requires deliberate conscious behavior, so listening to speech and watching body language are important factors in detecting lies. If a response to a question has a lot disturbances, less talking time, repeated words, and poor logical structure, then the person may be lying. Vocal cues such as frequency height and variation may also provide meaningful clues to deceit.
Fear specifically causes heightened arousal in liars, which manifests in more frequent blinking, pupil dilation, speech disturbances, and a higher pitched voice. The liars that experience guilt have been shown to make attempts at putting distance between themselves and the deceptive communication, producing “nonimmediacy cues” These can be verbal or physical, including speaking in more indirect ways and showing an inability to maintain eye contact with their conversation partners.Another cue for detecting deceptive speech is the tone of the speech itself. Streeter, Krauss, Geller, Olson, and Apple (1977) have assessed that fear and anger, two emotions widely associated with deception, cause greater arousal than grief or indifference, and note that the amount of stress one feels is directly related to the frequency of the voice.
The camouflage of a physical object often works by breaking up the visual boundary of that object. This usually involves colouring the camouflaged object with the same colours as the background against which the object will be hidden. In the realm of deceptive half-truths, camouflage is realized by 'hiding' some of the truths.
Military camouflage as a form of visual deception is a part of military deception.
A disguise is an appearance to create the impression of being somebody or something else; for a well-known person this is also called incognito. Passing involves more than mere dress and can include hiding one's real manner of speech.
In a more abstract sense, 'disguise' may refer to the act of disguising the nature of a particular proposal in order to hide an unpopular motivation or effect associated with that proposal. This is a form of political spin or propaganda. See also: rationalisation and transfer within the techniques of propaganda generation.
The term "deception" as used by a government is typically frowned upon unless it's in reference to military operations. The terms for the means by which governments employ deception are:
Simulation consists of exhibiting false information. There are three simulation techniques: mimicry (copying another model or example, such as non-poisonous snakes which have the colours and markings of poisonous snakes), fabrication (making up a new model), and distraction (offering an alternative model)
In the biological world, mimicry involves unconscious deception by similarity to another organism, or to a natural object. Animals for example may deceive predators or prey by visual, auditory or other means.
To make something that appears to be something that it is not, usually for the purpose of encouraging an adversary to reveal, endanger, or divert that adversary's own resources (i.e., as a decoy). For example, in World War II, it was common for the Allies to use hollow tanks made out of wood to fool German reconnaissance planes into thinking a large armor unit was on the move in one area while the real tanks were well hidden and on the move in a location far from the fabricated "dummy" tanks. Mock airplanes and fake airfields have also been created.
To get someone's attention from the truth by offering bait or something else more tempting to divert attention away from the object being concealed. For example, a security company publicly announces that it will ship a large gold shipment down one route, while in reality take a different route. A military unit trying to maneuver out of a dangerous position may make a feint attack or fake retreat, to make the enemy think they are doing one thing, while in fact they have another goal.
A seventeenth-century story collection, Zhang Yingyu's The Book of Swindles (ca. 1617), offers multiple examples of the bait-and-switch and fraud techniques involving the stimulation of greed in Ming-dynasty China.
Deception is particularly common within romantic relationships, with more than 90% of individuals admitting to lying or not being completely honest with their partner at one time.
There are three primary motivations for deception in relationships.
Deception impacts the perception of a relationship in a variety of ways, for both the deceiver and the deceived. The deceiver typically perceives less understanding and intimacy from the relationship, in that they see their partner as less empathetic and more distant.The act of deception can also result in feelings of distress for the deceiver, which become worse the longer the deceiver has known the deceived, as well as in longer-term relationships. Once discovered, deception creates feelings of detachment and uneasiness surrounding the relationship for both partners; this can eventually lead to both partners becoming more removed from the relationship or deterioration of the relationship. In general, discovery of deception can result in a decrease in relationship satisfaction and commitment level, however, in instances where a person is successfully deceived, relationship satisfaction can actually be positively impacted for the person deceived, since lies are typically used to make the other partner feel more positive about the relationship.
In general, deception tends to occur less often in relationships with higher satisfaction and commitment levels and in relationships where partners have known each other longer, such as long-term relationships and marriage.In comparison, deception is more likely to occur in casual relationships and in dating where commitment level and length of acquaintanceship is often much lower.
Unique to exclusive romantic relationships is the use of deception in the form of infidelity. When it comes to the occurrence of infidelity, there are many individual difference factors that can impact this behavior. Infidelity is impacted by attachment style, relationship satisfaction, executive function, sociosexual orientation, personality traits, and gender. Attachment style impacts the probability of infidelity and research indicates that people with an insecure attachment style (anxious or avoidant) are more likely to cheat compared to individuals with a secure attachment style,especially for avoidant men and anxious women. Insecure attachment styles are characterized by a lack of comfort within a romantic relationship resulting in a desire to be overly independent (avoidant attachment style) or a desire to be overly dependent on their partner in an unhealthy way (anxious attachment style). Those with an insecure attachment style are characterized by not believing that their romantic partner can/will support and comfort them in an effective way, either stemming from a negative belief regarding themselves (anxious attachment style) or a negative belief regarding romantic others (avoidant attachment style). Women are more likely to commit infidelity when they are emotionally unsatisfied with their relationship whereas men are more likely to commit infidelity if they are sexually unsatisfied with their current relationship. Women are more likely to commit emotional infidelity than men while men are more likely to commit sexual infidelity than women; however, these are not mutually exclusive categories as both men and women can and do engage in emotional or sexual infidelity.
Executive control is a part of executive functions that allows for individuals to monitor and control their behavior through thinking about and managing their actions. The level of executive control that an individual possesses is impacted by development and experience and can be improved through training and practice.Those individuals that show a higher level of executive control can more easily influence/control their thoughts and behaviors in relation to potential threats to an ongoing relationship which can result in paying less attention to threats to the current relationship (other potential romantic mates). Sociosexual orientation is concerned with how freely individuals partake in casual sex outside of a committed relationship and their beliefs regarding how necessary it is to be in love in order to engage in sex with someone. Individuals with a less restrictive sociosexual orientation (more likely to partake in casual sex) are more likely to engage in infidelity. Individuals that have personality traits including (high) neuroticism, (low) agreeableness, and (low) conscientiousness are more likely to commit infidelity. Men are generally speculated to cheat more than women, but it is unclear if this is a result of socialization processes where it is more acceptable for men to cheat compared to women or due to an actual increase in this behavior for men. Research conducted by Conley and colleagues (2011) suggests that the reasoning behind these gender differences stems from the negative stigma associated with women who engage in casual sex and inferences about the sexual capability of the potential sexual partner. In their study, men and women were equally likely to accept a sexual proposal from an individual who was speculated to have a high level of sexual prowess. Additionally, women were just as likely as men to accept a casual sexual proposal when they did not anticipate being subjected to the negative stigma of sexually permissible women as slutty.
Research on the use of deception in online dating has shown that people are generally truthful about themselves with the exception of physical attributes to appear more attractive.According to the Scientific American, “nine out of ten online daters will fib about their height, weight, or age” such that men were more likely to lie about height while women were more likely to lie about weight. In a study conducted by Toma and Hancock, “less attractive people were found to be more likely to have chosen a profile picture in which they were significantly more attractive than they were in everyday life”. Both genders used this strategy in online dating profiles, but women more so than men. Additionally, less attractive people were more likely to have “lied about objective measures of physical attractiveness such as height and weight”. In general, men are more likely to lie on dating profiles the one exception being that women are more likely to lie about weight.
Some methodologies in social research, especially in psychology, involve deception. The researchers purposely mislead or misinform the participants about the true nature of the experiment. In an experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram in 1963 the researchers told participants that they would be participating in a scientific study of memory and learning. In reality the study looked at the participants' willingness to obey commands, even when that involved inflicting pain upon another person. After the study, the subjects were informed of the true nature of the study, and steps were taken in order to ensure that the subjects left in a state of well being.Use of deception raises many problems of research ethics and it is strictly regulated by professional bodies such as the American Psychological Association.
Psychological research often needs to deceive the subjects as to its actual purpose. The rationale for such deception is that humans are sensitive to how they appear to others (and to themselves) and this self-consciousness might interfere with or distort from how they actually behave outside of a research context (where they would not feel they were being scrutinized). For example, if a psychologist is interested in learning the conditions under which students cheat on tests, directly asking them, "how often do you cheat?," might result in a high percent of "socially desirable" answers and the researcher would in any case be unable to verify the accuracy of these responses. In general, then, when it is unfeasible or naive to simply ask people directly why or how often they do what they do, researchers turn to the use of deception to distract their participants from the true behavior of interest. So, for example, in a study of cheating, the participants may be told that the study has to do with how intuitive they are. During the process they might be given the opportunity to look at (secretly, they think) another participant's [presumably highly intuitively correct] answers before handing in their own. At the conclusion of this or any research involving deception, all participants must be told of the true nature of the study and why deception was necessary (this is called debriefing). Moreover, it is customary to offer to provide a summary of the results to all participants at the conclusion of the research.
Though commonly used and allowed by the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association, there has been debate about whether or not the use of deception should be permitted in psychological research experiments. Those against deception object to the ethical and methodological issues involved in its use. Dresser (1981) notes that, ethically, researchers are only to use subjects in an experiment after the subject has given informed consent. However, because of its very nature, a researcher conducting a deception experiment cannot reveal its true purpose to the subject, thereby making any consent given by a subject misinformed (p. 3). Baumrind (1964), criticizing the use of deception in the Milgram (1963) obedience experiment, argues that deception experiments inappropriately take advantage of the implicit trust and obedience given by the subject when the subject volunteers to participate (p. 421).
From a practical perspective, there are also methodological objections to deception. Ortmann and Hertwig (1998) note that "deception can strongly affect the reputation of individual labs and the profession, thus contaminating the participant pool" (p. 806). If the subjects in the experiment are suspicious of the researcher, they are unlikely to behave as they normally would, and the researcher's control of the experiment is then compromised (p. 807). Those who do not object to the use of deception note that there is always a constant struggle in balancing "the need for conducting research that may solve social problems and the necessity for preserving the dignity and rights of the research participant" (Christensen, 1988, p. 670). They also note that, in some cases, using deception is the only way to obtain certain kinds of information, and that prohibiting all deception in research would "have the egregious consequence of preventing researchers from carrying out a wide range of important studies" (Kimmel, 1998, p. 805).
Additionally, findings suggest that deception is not harmful to subjects. Christensen's (1988) review of the literature found "that research participants do not perceive that they are harmed and do not seem to mind being misled" (p. 668). Furthermore, those participating in experiments involving deception "reported having enjoyed the experience more and perceived more educational benefit" than those who participated in non-deceptive experiments (p. 668). Lastly, it has also been suggested that an unpleasant treatment used in a deception study or the unpleasant implications of the outcome of a deception study may be the underlying reason that a study using deception is perceived as unethical in nature, rather than the actual deception itself (Broder, 1998, p. 806; Christensen, 1988, p. 671).
Deception is a recurring theme in modern philosophy. In 1641 Descartes published his meditations, in which he introduced the notion of the Deus deceptor, a posited being capable of deceiving the thinking ego about reality. The notion was used as part of his hyperbolic doubt, wherein one decides to doubt everything there is to doubt. The Deus deceptor is a mainstay of so-called skeptical arguments, which purport to put into question our knowledge of reality. The punch of the argument is that all we know might be wrong, since we might be deceived. Stanley Cavell has argued that all skepticism has its root in this fear of deception.
Deception is a common topic in religious discussions. Some sources focus on how religious texts deal with deception. But, other sources focus on the deceptions created by the religions themselves. For example, Ryan McKnight is the founder of an organization called FaithLeaks. He stated that the organizations "goal is to reduce the amount of deception and untruths and unethical behaviors that exist in some facets of religion".
In its purest form, Christianity encourages the pursuit of truth. But, in practice, many Christians are criticized as being deceptive and otherwise problematic. The prominent political speech writer Michael Gerson said that evangelicals were "associating evangelicalism with bigotry, selfishness and deception." His comments were directed specifically towards those evangelicals who support Donald Trump.
In Islam the concept of Taqiyya is often interpreted as legitimized deception. But, many Muslims view Taqiyya as a necessary means of alleviating religious persecution.In the city of Basking Ridge, New Jersey the town's residents used the concept of Taqivya to block a mosque from being built. The dispute went on for years. In a related story, journalist Ian Wilkie of Newsweek asserted that Taquivya provides evidence that Assad has used chemical weapons on the Syrian people.
For legal purposes, deceit is a tort that occurs when a person makes a factual misrepresentation, knowing that it is false (or having no belief in its truth and being reckless as to whether it is true) and intending it to be relied on by the recipient, and the recipient acts to his or her detriment in reliance on it. Deceit may also be grounds for legal action in contract law (known as misrepresentation, or if deliberate, fraudulent misrepresentation), or a criminal prosecution, on the basis of fraud.
An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, support, regular business interactions, or some other type of social connection or commitment. Interpersonal relationships thrive through equitable and reciprocal compromise, they are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by law, custom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole.
An affair is a sexual relationship, romantic friendship, or passionate attachment between two people without the attached person's significant other knowing.
Jealousy generally refers to the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, over relative lack of possessions.
Infidelity is a violation of a couple's assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity. Other scholars define infidelity as a violation according to the subjective feeling that one's partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms; this violation results in feelings of jealousy, sexual jealousy, and rivalry.
A relationship breakup, often referred to simply as a breakup, is the termination of an intimate relationship by any means other than death. The act is commonly termed "dumping [someone]" in slang when it is initiated by one partner. The term is less likely to be applied to a married couple, where a breakup is typically called a separation or divorce. When a couple engaged to be married breaks up, it is typically called a "broken engagement".
Interpersonal attraction is the attraction between people which leads to the development of platonic or romantic relationships. It is distinct from perceptions such as physical attractiveness, and involves views of what is and what is not considered beautiful or attractive.
David M. Buss is an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, theorizing and researching human sex differences in mate selection.
Sexual jealousy is a special form of jealousy in sexual relationships, based on suspected or imminent sexual infidelity. The concept is studied in the field of evolutionary psychology.
Relational aggression or alternative aggression is a type of aggression in which harm is caused by damaging someone's relationships or social status. Although it can be used in many contexts and among different age groups, relational aggression among adolescents in particular, has received a lot of attention.
Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction. The topic includes interpersonal rejection, romantic rejection and familial estrangement. A person can be rejected by individuals or an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can be either active, by bullying, teasing, or ridiculing, or passive, by ignoring a person, or giving the "silent treatment". The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipient, and it can be perceived when it is not actually present. The word ostracism is often used for the process.
Caring in intimate relationships is the practice of providing care and support to an intimate relationship partner. Caregiving behaviours are aimed at reducing the partner's distress and supporting his or her coping efforts in situations of either threat or challenge. Caregiving may include emotional support and/or instrumental support. Effective caregiving behaviour enhances the care-recipient's psychological well-being, as well as the quality of the relationship between the caregiver and the care-recipient. However, certain suboptimal caregiving strategies may be either ineffective or even detrimental to coping.
In psychology, the theory of attachment can be applied to adult relationships including friendships, emotional affairs, adult romantic or platonic relationships and in some cases relationships with inanimate objects. Attachment theory, initially studied in the 1960s and 1970s primarily in the context of children and parents, was extended to adult relationships in the late 1980s.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to interpersonal relationships.
The hyperpersonal model is a model of interpersonal communication that suggests computer-mediated communication (CMC) can become hyperpersonal because it "exceeds [face-to-face] interaction", thus affording message senders a host of communicative advantages over traditional face-to-face (FtF) interaction. The hyperpersonal model demonstrates how individuals communicate uniquely, while representing themselves to others, how others interpret them, and how the interactions create a reciprocal spiral of FtF communication. Compared to ordinary FtF situations, a hyperpersonal message sender has a greater ability to strategically develop and edit self-presentation, enabling a selective and optimized presentation of one's self to others.
Relational transgressions occur when people violate implicit or explicit relational rules. These transgressions include a wide variety of behaviors.
Othello error occurs when a suspicious observer discounts cues of truthfulness. Essentially the Othello error occurs, Paul Ekman states, "when the lie catcher fails to consider that a truthful person who is under stress may appear to be lying" their non-verbal signals expressing their worry at the possibility of being disbelieved. A lie-detector or polygraph may be deceived in the same way, by misinterpreting nervous signals from a truthful person. The error is named after William Shakespeare's tragic play Othello; the dynamics between the two main characters, Othello and Desdemona, are a particularly well-known example of the error in practice.
Truth-default theory (TDT) is a communication theory which predicts and explains the use of veracity and deception detection in humans. It was developed upon the discovery of the veracity effect - whereby the proportion of truths versus lies presented in a judgment study on deception will drive accuracy rates. This theory gets its name from its central idea which is the truth-default state. This idea suggests that people presume others to be honest because they either don't think of deception as a possibility during communicating or because there is insufficient evidence lending them unable to prove they are being deceived. Emotions, arousal, strategic self-presentation, and cognitive effort are nonverbal behaviors that one might find in deception detection. Ultimately this theory predicts that speakers and listeners will default to use the truth to achieve their communicative goals. However, if the truth presents a problem, then deception will surface as a viable option for goal attainment.
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Town Porsche of Englewood, New Jersey 07631 - also known as a new Perspective on Human Deceit.