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 five 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. Motives
There are three primary motivations for deceptions in close relationships. Partner-focused motives: using deception to avoid hurting the partner, to help the partner to enhance or maintain his/her self-esteem, to avoid worrying the partner, and to protect the partner's relationship with a third party. Partner-motivated deception can sometimes be viewed as socially polite and relationally beneficial. Self-focused motives: using deception to enhance or protect their self-image, wanting to shield themselves from anger, embarrassment, or criticism. Self-focused deception is generally perceived as a more serious transgression than partner-focused deception because the deceiver is acting for selfish reasons rather than for the good of the relationship. Relationship-focused motives: using deception to limit relationship harm by avoiding conflict or relational trauma. Relationally motivated...
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