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Deception, Its Definition, Types, and Ways to Detect

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Definition is a theme that usually resonates within the spectrum of dark psychology. It has throughout the years been defined as any particular act that is used by a particular manipulative individual in order to instill certain beliefs within the victim that are usually false in nature or only those possessing partial truths. It is usually placed in the same category as deceit, mystification and suffrage. Deception is not usually an easy theme to understand since it involves a lot of different things like for example distractions, propaganda camouflage and concealment. The manipulator is often able to easily control the subjects mind since the victim is often led to placing immense trust on this particular manipulative individual. The victims often believe in whatever the manipulator will say, and might even be basing future plans and shaping their world base on the things that the manipulator is feeding their subconscious mind. This strong element of trust towards the manipulator can quickly fade away once the victim realizes what is going on. It is because of this very reason that a certain level of skill is needed for deployment of this theme, since only then will a manipulator be able to skillfully change the focus of suspicion towards him and onto the victim’s paranoia.

In most cases, deception will often present itself in relationship settings and can lead the victim to having dominant feelings of distrust and betrayal between the partners in the relationship. This usually happens because deception is a theme that violates most of the rules of most relationships, together with having a negative influence on the expectations that come with the relationship. When getting into relationships, one of the things that is usually expected Is the ease of having an honest and truthful conversation with their partner at all times. If they then learn that one of them is beginning to show signs of deception, they might have to learn the different ways using misdirection and distractions to pry out reliable and truthful information that they need from them. the trust would have gone into a permanent rift that will not be easy to come back from, since the victim will always be questioning everything that the partner will say and do wondering whether the story is actually true of fabricated. Most relationships will end as soon as the deceptive partner is found out. As we described earlier, this is a form of communication that is reliant on lies and certain omissions so as to make the victim believe whatever he is being led to believing by the deceptive individual. Seeing as this the case, there are five main types of deceptive tactics that are seen to exist. We shall briefly touch on each one so as to better understand this theme.


Probably taking home the medal of most used type of deception, concealment is basically when the deceptive individual knowingly omits information from his stories that is often relevant and important to the context. They can also engage in certain behaviour that would signal a hiding of relevant information to the subject at that particular time. a skilled manipulator is experienced enough to know that he will have to be clever to know that it’s safe not to be direct on their approach, but rather insinuate the lie leading the victim to their own conclusion which is predetermined.


What can be said about this? This is where an individual in a sense stretches the truth a bit too much with an intended goal of leading the story towards a direction that best catteries for their needs. The manipulator will make a certain scenario appear to be more severe than it actually is so as to avoid lying directly to their victims. This is usually done so as to let the victim do whatever it is they want.


This is one tactic that we as humans use on a daily basis for one reason or another. We are often inclined to lie as a way to avoid some form of penalty. For example, if you work in bank and you run late because of something minor, you will be inclined to lie to your boss so as to keep him from cutting you lose. What then can be said to be the meaning of this? This is where an individual gives information that is all south of the actual truth. They will present this completely fabricated truth to the victim and they will believe it.


This is where an individual will knowingly make a statement of a contradictionary nature intended to lead the victim to the path of confusion on what is exactly seems to be going on. This is usually a clever tactic will allow the manipulator to save his image if he is later on discovered.


This is where an individual minimizes aspects of the truth in the particular story being told at the time. They will often approach a victim preaching how something isn’t that big of a deal, when In fact it is of the utmost importance.

Primary Components of Deception

As much as it may be difficult to clearly which factors show clear deployment of deception, there are some few subtle components that are immediate identifiers of these theme. The victim will come to be aware of these factors only when the manipulator dispatches a direct lie. Let us now dive deep into the particulars of said components.


The first component we shall unravel is that of disguises. What usually goes on here is that the manipulator works tiredly up to until he successfully creates the impression of being someone that they are not. Manipulators often result to this tactic if they want to hide burry something about them so deep that no one ever finds out. This could be a dark secret, or just something as harmful as someone’s name. The popular belief of this component is that is simply a change of clothes just like in the moves, however it goes far beyond this in that it also involves a complete change of ones persona. Having a rough idea on how discuses work let us look at a few examples of how it can be used in the process of deception.

The first instance is where the manipulator changes himself to another person so as not to be discovered. this will be done by an individual with a view to maybe be able to get back into a particular crowd of people that are not very fond of him, revamp their whole personality so as to make someone like them or just to furthered their own personal goals. In some instances, disguise may be used to refer to the hiding of one’s true nature in the hopes of maybe hiding the effect that appears to be unpopular with that proposal. Disguises usually have adverse effects because it is generally the hiding of one’s true intentions for a particular victim. When information is withheld in this fashion, it often clouds the victim’s judgment. The victim ends up having the feeling of being in control of their decisions when in reality they have been swayed towards the manipulators directions. This is seen mainly in a political setting


This is where an individual works tirelessly in order to hide the truth in one way or another leaving his victim clueless as to what exactly is going on. This is characterized by the manipulators use of half-truths when divulging certain information to his victim. The victim will only be aware that camouflage has taken place later when the actual truths are brought to light. A skilled manipulator with a lot of experience using camouflage is more likely to be undetected in performing certain actions.


The third component of deception is what is commonly referred to as simulation. This is simply the process where the victim is constantly being shown subject matter that is false in every way. Further on, we get to see that simulation consists of 3 other techniques that can be used. They are mimicry, distraction and fabrication. Fabrication is the scenario where the manipulator takes something that is found in actual reality and chases it to become this completely different thing. the manipulator will seek to either give detailed events of something that never happened, or add some exaggerations that either make it sound better or worse than it actually sounds. The core of their story however is usually true. If the teacher gives them a bad grade, these manipulators may further the story by stating that they were given the bad results on purpose. The reality is that the manipulator did not study for the test hence his bad grade.

Mimicry is another tool that manipulators use when deploying these tactics of deception. The manipulator here usually portrays a persona that it quite close to their own, but not their own. They may present an idea that is similar to someone else’s, and give himself credit for thinking about it first. This form of simulation may be able to take pace through visual and auditory stimulus The last tool we shall look at is that of distraction as another form of simulation in deception. This is where the manipulator tries to get the victim to only focus their attention on everything else but the truth. How is this usually done? This is usually achieved though baiting or the offering of something more tempting than the truth itself. The best example of this is that of a marriage situation. Where the husband is involved in extramarital affairs and thinks that the wife has caught a whiff of this, he may start graving her with random gifts such as designer clothes so as to distract her from thinking about his cheating. The one flaw to this is that it often tends not to last as long as intended.

Detecting Deception

If you may be interested in looking for the right defenses against deception, then the first thing you would do is have a clear conscious that allows you to detect deception as its being deployed. It may be difficult in determining whether deception is occurring or not. This is of course unless the manipulator becomes sloppy in his approach and leaves sufficient breadcrumbs showing that he is indeed lying, or of grist contradiction of statements. As much as it may be difficult for a manipulator to deceive his victim for an extended period of time, it is something that we practice on those closest to us on a daily basis. What makes detection of deception hard is that there are really no solid indicators that are 100% reliable to tell when deception has happened.

Deception, however, is capable of placing a large burden on the manipulators cognitive functioning as they will have to figure out how to recall the agent’s functioning as they will have to figure out how to recall all the statements they made to the subject in order to keep the story credible and consistent. One slips up and the subject can say something is wrong. Due to the strain of keeping the story straight, the agent is much more likely to leak information to tip the subject through either nonverbal or verbal indications. Over the course of time, researchers have given us sufficient reason to believe that detecting an attempt of deception is usually a process that is cognitive, fluid and complex. These processes are not usually constant as they will often vary depending on the message that is being relayed. the interpersonal deception theory describes deception to be an iterative and dynamic process of influence between the manipulator, whose sole purpose of this is working towards twisting information to a version that best suits them but is different from the truth, and the victim, who will then attempt to figure out if the message being relayed to them is of an accurate nature or quite the contrary. It is during this particular exchange that the victim is going to bring to light all the nonverbal and verbal information that will cue the victim in to the deceit. At some point in this process, the victim may be able to tell that they are being lied to by the manipulator.

One of the few renowned scholars of this theme of deception by the name Alert Vrij, his view of detection of deception. He was of the opinion that there were no known nonverbal behaviour that could be associated with solely with deception. This is one of the many reasons as to why it is not possible to tell when an individual is being deceptive. While there exists certain nonverbal behaviour that are associated with acts of deception, these same cues may also present themselves when other behaviour are present. This is what makes it difficult to determine whether or not a manipulator is using deception unless the utter a direct lie. Another scholar who weighed in on this enigmatic theme of detection was Mark Fank. He focused more on how deception can be detected at the victim’s cognitive level. when deception takes place, it usually requires a conscious behaviour that is mainly deliberate on the victims side, so the listening to words and paying attention to the body language that is going on are both critical when trying to determine when someone is in the process of deceiving you. If for example a manipulative person asks a question which the victim doesn’t deal comfortable answering directly, you can tell that they are lying just from the manner in which he repeats words a lot, has very poor structure of logic and generally uses less time talking about that particular question. Basically, when attempting to figure out when deception occurs, there are not many signs that can be considered. There are however few nonverbal signs that may be present when someone deploys this tactic of deception, but they may have other issues like nervousness or shyness as well.

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