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A polite fiction is a social scenario in which all participants are aware of a truth, but pretend to believe in some alternative version of events to avoid conflict or embarrassment. Polite fictions are closely related to euphemism, in which a word or phrase that might be impolite, disagreeable, or offensive is replaced by another word or phrase that both speaker and listener understand to have the same meaning. In scholarly usage, "polite fiction" can be traced to at least 1953. 
An informal example would be of someone who goes out drinking after telling their family that they are merely going for an evening walk to enjoy the night air. Even though many relatives involved know that the person is likely leaving to drink alcohol, and may come home drunk, they may act as if he/she is going out for a walk, and act as if they don't notice signs of alcohol intoxication when they return. Another common example is a couple that has had an argument, after which one of them absents themself from a subsequent social gathering, with the other claiming that they are ill, especially if this is a regular occurrence. In these instances, although people in the couple's social circle may have experienced this behavior numerous times and are aware that a problem of some sort exists in the relationship, they may remain silent for fear of upsetting the couple, thereby further troubling their relationship. This violates social norms (a human behavior related to ethics codes and ethics clarity), and can be used to retain politeness  and trust, with the effect of maintenance of social bonds and provision of ideological support.  
Polite fictions can slip into denial. This is especially the case when the fiction is actually meant to fool some observers, such as outsiders or children judged too young to be told the truth. The truth then becomes "the elephant in the room"; no matter how obvious it is, the people most affected pretend to others and to themselves that it is not so. This can be used to humorous effect in comedy, where a character will seem bent on making it impossible to maintain the polite fiction.
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior". The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value; these fields comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology.
Mores are social norms that are widely observed within a particular society or culture. Mores determine what is considered morally acceptable or unacceptable within any given culture. A folkway is what is created through interaction and that process is what organizes interactions through routine, repetition, habit and consistency.
Deception or falsehood is an act or statement that 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.
Ethnography is a branch of anthropology and the systematic study of individual cultures. Ethnography explores cultural phenomena from the point of view of the subject of the study. Ethnography is also a type of social research that involves examining the behavior of the participants in a given social situation and understanding the group members' own interpretation of such behavior.
A lie is an assertion that is believed to be false, typically used with the purpose of deceiving or misleading someone. The practice of communicating lies is called lying. A person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. Lies can be interpreted as deliberately false statements or misleading statements. Lies may also serve a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for the individuals who use them.
Alcohol abuse encompasses a spectrum of unhealthy alcohol drinking behaviors, ranging from binge drinking to alcohol dependence, in extreme cases resulting in health problems for individuals and large scale social problems such as alcohol-related crimes.
The expression “the elephant in the room” is a metaphorical idiom in English for an important or enormous topic, question, or controversial issue that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss because it makes at least some of them uncomfortable and is personally, socially, or politically embarrassing, controversial, inflammatory, or dangerous.
The Japanese language has a system of honorific speech, referred to as keigo, parts of speech that show respect. Their use is mandatory in many social situations. Honorifics in Japanese may be used to emphasize social distance or disparity in rank, or to emphasize social intimacy or similarity in rank. Japanese honorific titles, often simply called honorifics, consist of suffixes and prefixes when referring to others in a conversation.
Ideal type, also known as pure type, is a typological term most closely associated with sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920). For Weber, the conduct of social science depends upon the construction of abstract, hypothetical concepts. The "ideal type" is therefore a subjective element in social theory and research, and one of the subjective elements distinguishing sociology from natural science.
Response bias is a general term for a wide range of tendencies for participants to respond inaccurately or falsely to questions. These biases are prevalent in research involving participant self-report, such as structured interviews or surveys. Response biases can have a large impact on the validity of questionnaires or surveys.
Normality is a behavior that can be normal for an individual when it is consistent with the most common behavior for that person. Normal is also used to describe individual behavior that conforms to the most common behavior in society. However, normal behavior is often only recognized in contrast to abnormality. In many cases normality is used to make moral judgements, such that normality is seen as good while abnormality is seen as bad, or conversely normality can seen as boring and uninteresting. Someone being seen as normal or not normal can have social ramifications, such as being included, excluded or stigmatized by wider society.
Face is a class of behaviors and customs practiced mainly in Asian cultures, associated with the morality, honor, and authority of an individual, and its image in social groups.
Behavioral geography is an approach to human geography that examines human behavior by separating it into different parts. In addition, behavioral geography is an ideology/approach in human geography that makes use of the methods and assumptions of behaviorism to determine the cognitive processes involved in an individual's perception of or response and reaction to their environment. Behavioral geographers focus on the cognitive processes underlying spatial reasoning, decision making, and behavior.
Rudeness is a display of actual or perceived disrespect by not complying with the social norms or etiquette of a group or culture. These norms have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behavior. To be unable or unwilling to align one's behavior with these norms known to the general population of what is socially acceptable is to be rude and are enforced as though they were a sort of social law, with social repercussions or rewards for violators or advocates, respectively.
Marketing ethics is an area of applied ethics which deals with the moral principles behind the operation and regulation of marketing. Some areas of marketing ethics overlap with media and public relations ethics.
A number of propaganda techniques based on social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be classified as logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid. Propaganda techniques emerge from abusive power and control tactics.
Interpersonal deception theory (IDT) is one of a number of theories that attempts to explain how individuals handle actual deception at the conscious or subconscious level while engaged in face-to-face communication. The theory was put forth by David Buller and Judee Burgoon in 1996 to explore this idea that deception is an engaging process between receiver and deceiver. 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. IDT explores the interrelation between the sender's communicative meaning and the receiver's thoughts and behavior in deceptive exchanges.
Domestic violence within lesbian relationships is the pattern of violent and coercive behavior in a female same-sex relationship wherein a lesbian or other non-heterosexual woman seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of her female intimate partner. In the case of multiple forms of domestic partner abuse, it is also referred to as lesbian battering.
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 judgement 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 that 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.
Motivation impairment effect (MIE) is a hypothesised behavioral effect relating to the communication of deception. The MIE posits that people who are highly motivated to deceive are less successful in their goal when their speech and mannerisms are observed by the intended audience. This is because their nonverbal cues, such as adaptor gestures, sweating, kinesic behaviors, verbal disfluencies, etc, tend to be more pronounced due to increased stress, cognitive load, and heightened emotional state. There is some disagreement regarding the MIE hypothesis, with a few nonverbal communication scholars arguing that deception should not be examined as separate for senders and receivers, but rather as an integral part of the overall process.