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Merriam-Webster defines deceitfulness as “not honest: making or trying to make someone believe something that is not true.”
Deceitfulness can be seen as a tendency to be dishonest in one’s interactions with others. Telling lies begins at an early age and is quite common in older children and adults. Many of the lies that people tell can be categorized as “white lies,” that is, lies which are intended to spare people’s feelings (“your new haircut is so flattering”) or to facilitate social interactions (“I’d love to hear about your child’s science project”). Deceitfulness, however, implies a habitual tendency to use lying and/or other forms of deception for self-serving reasons, including personal gain or enjoyment.
Talwar and Lee (2008) found that deception begins early and requires certain cognitive abilities. In these authors’ research, young children were induced to peek at a toy, thus disobeying an...
KeywordsPsychopathic Trait Personal Gain Reciprocal Altruism Dark Triad Reputational Cost
- Hare, R. D. (2003). The hare psychopathy checklist- revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar