Perspectives on Human and Nonhuman Deceit

Edited by Robert W. Mitchell & Nicholas S. Thompson

Subjects: Psychology
Series: SUNY series on Animal Behavior
Paperback : 9780887061080, 418 pages, December 1985
Hardcover : 9780887061073, 418 pages, December 1985

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Table of contents


Emil W. Menzel, Jr.


I. Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
1. A Framework for Discussing Deception
Robert W. Mitchell

2. Deception: A Philosophical Perspective
Lilly-Marlene Russow

3. Deception and the Concept of Behavioral Design
Nicholas S. Thompson

II. Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives

4. A "Informational" Perspective on Manipulation
W. John Smith

5. Evolutionary Aspects of Avian Distraction Display: Variation in American Avocet and Black-Necked Stilt Antipredator Behavior
Tex A. Sordahl
6. Firefly Communication and Deception: "Oh What a Tangled Web"
James E. Lloyd

7. The Deceptive Use of Reputation by Stomatopods
Roy L. Caldwell

III. Ethological and Psychological Perspectives

8. Can a Pigtail Macaque Learn to Manipulate a Thief?
Paul S. Silverman

9. The Deceptive Use of Alarm Calls by Sentinel Species in Mixed-Species Flocks of Neotropical Birds
Charles A. Munn

10. A "Lie" as a Directed Message of the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus L. )
Von G. RĂĽppell
11. Large Scale Deceit: Deception by Captive Elephants
Maxinne D. Morris

12. Deception in Play Between Dogs and People
Robert W. Mitchell and Nicholas S. Thompson

13. An Exploration of the Ontogeny of Deception in Human Beings and Nonhuman Primates
Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff

14. Deception in the Natural Communication of Chimpanzees
Frans de Waal

15. How Can I Tell a Lie? Apes Language, and the Problem of Deception
H. Lyn Miles

IV. Perspectives on Human Deception

16. Lying as a Skill: The Development of Deception in children
Mary E. Vasek

17. A Phenomenological Approach to Human Deception
Lucy Fontaine Werth and Jenny Flaherty

18. Feints and Russes: An Analysis of Deception in Sports
Ronald Mawby and Robert W. Mitchell

19. Cultural Concatenation of Deceit and Secrecy
Myrdene Anderson

20. The Theory and Psychology of Military Deception
Donal J. Sexton

V. Epilogue

Index of Proper Names
Subject Index


Mitchell and Thompson have compiled the first interdisciplinary study of deception and its manifestations in a variety of animal species. Deception is unique in that it presents detailed explorations of the broadest array of deceptive behavior, ranging from deceptive signaling in fireflies and stomatopods, to false-alarm calling by birds and foxes, to playful manipulating between people and dogs, to deceiving within intimate human relationships. It offers a historical overview of the problem of deception in related fields of animal behavior, philosophical analyses of the meaning and significance of deception in evolutionary and psychological theories, and diverse perspectives on deception—philosophical, ecological, evolutionary, ethological, developmental, psychological, anthropological, and historical.

The contributions gathered herein afford scientists the opportunity to discover something about the formal properties of deception, enabling them to explore and evaluate the belief that one set of descriptive and perhaps explanatory structures is suitable for both biological and psychological phenomena.

Robert W. Mitchell is Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, Clark University. Nicholas S. Thompson is Associate Professor of Psychology, Clark University.