Deception Is Often Hidden in Plain Sight

moth using camouflage
A moth using deception to camouflage itself.

The problem with deception is that it is so deceptive. The greatest deception is often hidden in plain sight. Most deception contains elements of truth to deceive the unwary and the ignorant.

Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs of things that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission). 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.

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 romantic and relational partners.

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.

Deception includes several types of communications or omissions that serve to distort or omit the complete truth. Deception itself is intentionally managing verbal and/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.

The primary forms of deception are:
  • Lies: making up information or giving information that is the opposite or very different from the truth.
  • Equivocations: making an indirect, ambiguous, or contradictory statement.
  • Concealments: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information.
  • Exaggerations: overstatement or stretching the truth to a degree.
  • Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth.

In this video Alan Vincent associates deception with the New World Disorder.

 

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