Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Human Deception

  • Melissa S. de Roos
  • Daniel N. JonesEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3305-1



Deception is notoriously difficult to define given that there are so many forms across human and nonhuman animals (Mitchell 1993). Here, we define deception as the intentional or unintentional misrepresentation of information. This misrepresentation can be conscious or unconscious and may serve a multitude of purposes including (but not limited to) survival (e.g., physical defense), resource acquisition (e.g., acquiring food or resources), or increased inclusive fitness (e.g., reproductive advantages).


Deception is common in human interactions (Kashy and DePaulo 1996). It can be intentional such as in the case of lying, self-presentation, or withholding important information. Deception may also be unintentional or unconscious, such as in the case of self-deception (e.g., von Hippel and Trivers 2011). Deception may stem from good intentions or a desire not to harm, or it may come from a place of...


Nonhuman Animal Frequency Dependent Selection Cooperative Society Financial Community Dark Triad 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas, El PasoEl PasoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christopher Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Abertay UniversityDundeeScotland