Here is an interesting article in Harvard Business Review on paltering – a form of deception in which the truth is told in a way that is deceptive. There are many examples. One is to say something in the present tense that might mislead someone to think you did not do it in the past. Or to answer a question with a truthful statement that is intended to deceive.
Imagine looking for a used car. You ask, “How does it run?” The owner states, “It was the fastest car on the highway.”
That might lead you to believe that the engine is fine. The reality might be that the car won’t go over 30 miles per hour. It was fastest car – 30 years ago.
Or, “It started first thing this morning.”
Perhaps it hasn’t started for years, but did start first thing this morning.
A form of deception that I often see is making a statement as a question. What if I told you I can do a double back flip from a rocking chair? What if I told you I made 10 million dollars last year?
I did not make a claim in either of those. I saw a marketing consultant use similar tactics to promote his services. I thought it was amazing how many people did not see through the deception.
We also see deception in the form of speculation. I see it in the news a lot. It often takes the form of extrapolation. Somebody is being investigated. That same somebody works for somebody else. That may mean that somebody else might be … The narrator can be quite imaginative and some people will be deceived into believing that connections already exist and proof has been made.
Watch, listen and read carefully. Question everything. Look for evidence.
Remember that you are more likely to believe something if you already are inclined to believe it – even with little evidence.
It is all part of becoming an accurate thinker and ascending above those who are not.
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