Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Why Trump gets away with lying

If you look at lying more closely, you can categorize them into three types: black lies (selfish ones), white lies (motivated by empathy) and blue lies (the Trump kind), which are lies that bond a group together.

And if you examine yourself carefully, you’ll probably find that you believed a few blue lies yourself.

How the Science of “Blue Lies” May Explain Trump’s Support

They’re a very particular form of deception that can build solidarity within groups

Jeremy Adam Smith | March 24, 2017 | Scientific American

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March 29, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, politics, psychology | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Trump screws with your mind

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired magazine editor, has a couple of illuminating articles on how President Trump screws with your mind for his own benefit. He’s not the only one to do so, so it’s in your interest to find out how and what to do about it.

The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You

Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

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February 18, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, I’d lie to you

Scary. Really scary. A must-read.

Yes, I’d lie to you

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

The Economist | Sep 10th 2016

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October 9, 2016 Posted by | information, politics, sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Ways to Lie with Charts

Nice tips to be aware of.

Five Ways to Lie with Charts

Want to spin your data? Here’s how.

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May 17, 2015 Posted by | brain | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do we lie to ourselves?

Book by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, addresses the question.  Partial answer (and book review) below.

Lying to Yourself Helps You Lie to Others

The science of self-deceit is more than a matter of evolutionary curiosity. Sometimes, it’s a question with life or death consequences.

By Paul Raeburn | December 17, 2013 | Discover magazine

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April 18, 2015 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, evolutionary psychology, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

Interesting research reported: the wider a man’s face, the more aggressive and the more likely to lie and cheat.  Doesn’t apply to women.  But a good-looking man will produce more orgasms in women.  From The Economist, July 9th, 2011:

Physiognomy: Facing the truth

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

August 28, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Exposing deceptive CEOs

If he avoids the word “I”, hesitates less and swears more, that CEO may be lying.  This and more essential tips for the shareholder from The Economist, August 21, 2010:

How to tell when your boss is lying

It’s not just that his lips are moving

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March 9, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

We all lie…

Great article about lying and its consequences.  Useful suggestion (aside from the obvious “don’t lie”): rather than assume people are telling the truth, maintain “an awareness that everything you are told could be a lie,” and then ferret out what you care about.

From The Globe & Mail, August 6, 2009:

Liar, liar

‘Oh yeah, you’re the best I’ve ever had’

It’s true: We lie every day, and at an alarming rate. Experts say even small fibs are more toxic than we realize

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August 27, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, emotions, psychology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can you detect lying?

Bottom line: not reliably.  But you can increase your chances of catching someone lying if you give them a task to do at the same time…

Two articles from Scientific American:

Scientific American Mind –  August 3, 2009

The Load of Lying: Testing for Truth

Giving suspects an extra task helps to separate the liars from the truth-tellers

By Marina Krakovsky

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August 4, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, brain | , , | 1 Comment