Another Post!

As time moves on, our access to information increases. This has been shown throughout history from early innovation like the printing press to modern technology like the internet. In our Truth About Lying Class, we discussed the distinguishment between media and journalism as well as how these two have evolved over time. In a recent study, a bunch of college students took a poll of where they gain most of their new from with options such as social media, television, newspaper/print, radio, none or people directly. 86% of the students voted social media being their primary way of receiving news. It makes sense because unlike the newspaper or television, social media is a faster and more efficient way to access quick information from news outlets directly and from people who share articles. Most people share articles on Facebook, which has not only become a social network but a platform for people to share relevant news or articles that represent their interest and what message they want to put out. The people who share these articles become ambassadors for this information. As this seems like a very convenient way to share and receive information, the knowledge that is being spread may not be the best quality as you would receive from more established sources such as the newspaper. Facebook has the feature of sharing direct links to websites so anybody can share anything whether its bias or balanced, relevant or irrelevant. This is supported in the article “Who Shared It” on the American Press Institute. They conducted a study to shows that shared news articles have a large influence on whether people trust what they see. About half of the 1489 participants could recall who had shared the article but about 1 in 10 could remember the source of the article. This experiment has revealed new information on how the media and journalist should think about credibility, and how news is perceived on social networks.

New Post!

Recently in our Truth About Lying Class, we have been discussing the reliability of information not just from media sources but from political candidates directly. Politicians hold a stigma of being frequent liars as displayed in the article, “Yes, I’d Lie to You; The post-truth world” posted by the Economist. A popular term in this article is “post-truth politics”, a political culture in which debates and claims are emotionally led to receiving more voters; these political claims can even remain disconnected from reality. Some people can become so emotionally attached to a false idea that it becomes their own perception of truth. This is also one of the many flaws of our society, we become so connected to our emotions that we can drift away from logic and reasonable thinking. Similarly to this subject, our class also read an article called “This Article Won’t Change Your Mind” posted by The Atlantic which discusses cognitive dissonance, which is the discomfort of simultaneously holding two conflicting thoughts. When we come to a conclusion of how things work, whether its political beliefs, financial decisions, or morals, it can be difficult to break out of those ideas without being challenged, but when we do challenge our ideas or are challenged then we jump to the nearest justification of why we believe certain things. This article goes on to discuss how opinions are best formed by groups of people than by the individual, an example portrayed in this article is the internet, an advanced piece of technology that allows the entire world to exchange ideas and perspectives. This tool also allows us to connect with certain groups, such as people with liberal or conservative ideology. Due to the world being a big place, our exchange of ideas provides compelling evidence from all sides of the spectrum of political concepts. This article also showed a study that was conducted that showed how people with specific beliefs prefers to obtain knowledge from sources that mostly align with their own. It’s normal for most people to do this but if we break this barrier and challenge our beliefs as a whole, our society will be more productive with agreeing on one concept at a time.

Conspiracy Theory Post

This unit that we recently covered surfaced over a variety of conspiracy theories. I head of many of these theories before and have even looked into a few of them out of curiosity and they seem to provoke a great number of people. One of the most fascinating conspiracies to me was the Bush Administration inside job on 9-11. This is one of the more popular theories because I think it’s the most believable out of all of them. Of course, we cannot obtain the entire truth but there are many odd signs that have happened in this event. What caught my attention was the predictive programming in cartoons that showed the twin towers and the Pentagon getting destroyed before the attack ever happened. I do find it suspicious too that the patriot act was presented 45 days after the attack. The Patriot Act allows the government to collect data from our devices and we give up our privacy for protection by our government. The truth is that we will never know the full truth of this incident. That’s what makes it a conspiracy theory!

Blog Post #1 My First Impression

I remember when I was registering for my courses this spring semester and I saw that this class was available, “The Truth About Lying”.  The title was very intriguing so I decided to risk my time for this course. The subject of deception and truth have always fascinated me since I was young because lying is such a significant part of our human story.  Lying has existed since humans could breathe, it’s a complex act that gains its power when believed by one. In the first couple of weeks in class, we discussed the frequency of deception through many different lenses (Scientific, Interpersonal, Political, etc).  I thought that was an effective way to tackle a broad subject like lying because it shows the subfields that deception takes place in. Continuing through the two weeks of this class, I noticed how much the students influence what we learn in this class. A great example of this is the fishbowl activity.  The fishbowl is a unique way to discuss provoking questions that us students generate based on the assigned reading. The reading touched on my different styles of research and philosophy about lying and we would have to interpret what we read by asking ourselves and the class questions. Initially, I thought that this class was just another general education class, but now I realize the prevalence of deception is all around us in the knowledge we are taught and the media that is shown and with that, discernment will be a significant skill to have.

The Rachel Divide Questions


  1. Do you think that Rachel’s family suffered from the attention she received from media?  If so how?
  2. Do you think she has experienced the same degree of racism as most black people?
  3. Do you believe that Rachel has deceived the people around her, herself, or both?
  4. Do you believe that Rachel intentionally deceived people or was it meant for attention.
  5. Do you think Rachel would be more effective in the black community if she didn’t identify as transracial  or if she stayed true to herself.
  6. Do you think that Rachel’s story is a representation that lying is an act that is marginalized by our society?

Blog Post #2

Throughout the past couple weeks, our class discussed the prevalence of lying and deception through a psychological lens.  We reviewed documents and content from various sources such as Ariely’s presentation and writing “The (Honest) Truth About Lying” which discussed testing the Simple Model of Rational Crime (SMORC) which means that we seek out our own advantages to navigate the world and weigh out our costs versus benefits to make our decisions.

We also looked at Serota and Levine’s writing on “A Few Prolific Liars” which reports about the frequency of lies.  The research and reanalysis of previous studies concludes that most people practice honesty and the majority of lies are only told by a few prolific liars. In contrast to this piece of writing, Pamela Myers presented on a TED talk revealing that we are in a deception epidemic and that we need certain skills do discern the lies that take place in the media, politics, and our everyday life.  Compared to Serota and Levine’s knowledge of deception frequency, I would agree more with Pamela Myers presentation because even though lying is an act that is looked down upon, many individuals can still preach fallacy unintentionally.

Tim Coles piece of writing discusses lying and deception not only through the lens of psychology but also from an interpersonal perspective as well.  The goal of his research was to explore deceit in relationships by examining the three underlying explanations of why we deceive our loved ones such as reciprocity, fear of punishment, and Intimacy needs.  

Similar to Coles study, DePaulo conducted research on interpersonal relationships but in everyday interactions.  His method was to have a group of undergraduates to record the frequency of lies they told with a specific analysis of each lie (Duration, Success, Modality, etc).  The results of this experiment was that an average college student lies one out of every three social interactions but the students claimed after this that they thought they lied less than expected.  

Overall, this Unit of lying and deception seen through a psychological lens opened my eyes to compelling knowledge/data that has made me more aware of the prevalence of deception through others and myself.  Out of all the lenses, I didn’t expect to gain much insight from psychology but this unit has made me adjust my moral code and marginalize those who lie profusely.


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