Lies! Lies!! Lies!!! The Psychology of Deceit looks beyond compulsive liars in our society and considers the ongoing flood of lies that we as human beings experience every day.
Who lies? Not just children, politicians, advertisers, and salespeople. Our co-workers lie. Our friends lie. Our relatives lie. And we lie to them. Everybody lies.
We learn to lie and to detect deceit as a developmental task. Dr. Ford's philosophy is that lying is part of the bridge between one's internal world (beliefs, perceptions, expectations, fantasies) and one's external world (reality). Lies work not only to deceive others but to deceive ourselves.
This book shines a spotlight on an understudied phenomenon that affects us all as we raise children, choose a relationship, move forward with a career path, or buy a used car.
Charles V. Ford, M.D., is Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, at the School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author or co-author of five books and approximately 100 published papers and invited chapters that focus primarily on issues of illness behavior, psychotherapy, the interface between medicine and psychiatry, and disease simulation. His scientific interest in deception began as a result of his contact with psychiatric and medical patients diagnosed as compulsive liars. Through his work he learned what little scientific information there was on the subject.
Everybody lies. Defining deceit: the language of lying. The biology of deceit. Learning to lie: developmental issues in deceit. Why people lie: the determinants of deceit. Styles of deception: the role of personality. Pathological lying. Living a lie: impostors, con-artists and persons with the Munchausen syndrome. False memories, false accusations, and false confessions. Detection of deceit. Technological detection of deceit. Therapeutic approaches for the deceitful person. Effects of deception. A psychology of deceit: conclusions and summary. Epilogue. References. Index.