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There are various ways of classifying lies: by their consequences, by the importance of their subject matters, by the speakers’ motives, and by the nature or context of the utterance.

Perhaps the most useful way to classify lies is by to the people who tell them. Understanding lies and liars can help us avoid getting duped as well as protect us from drifting into dishonesty ourselves.

Classifying the Types of Liars

The diagram below is a taxonomy of liars, based on plotting their lies along two axes: their intended audiences (x-axis) and their subject matters (y-axis).


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Steal These Advertising Secrets to Manipulate Yourself (Medium) You can disarm your resistance to doing things you know you should by learning techniques from the best in the persuasion business.

Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker [AUDIO] (Anchor) Many people run their lives on a to-do list. …


To control physical and emotional pain, we need to understand its purpose.

If you ask most people to explain how pain works, they’ll say something like, “Well, you have an injury, and the ‘signal’ travels up to your brain, and your brain interprets it as pain.”

Sounds plausible, right?

It’s essentially the same theory René Descartes described in his 1664 Treatise of Man. Descartes believed a “little thread” transferred pain to the brain, “just as, by pulling one end of a cord, you ring a bell which hangs at the other end.”

It’s a nice analogy — but it’s utterly wrong. According to today’s science, almost exactly the opposite is true.

“The…


You can disarm your resistance to doing things you know you should by learning techniques from the best in the persuasion business.

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Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

This is a follow-up to my last article, in which I discussed psychological reactance. In a nutshell, psychological reactance is your knee-jerk “don’t tell me what to do!” response.

Psychological reactance is why when your mom told you to put your coat on when you were a kid, you did anything but put your coat on. It’s why today you hate being micromanaged by your boss. It’s why we don’t do all sorts of things we know we should, just because someone tells us to.

Ironically, psychological reactance can even kick in when it’s you telling yourself what to do…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Why You Might Need a Humor Audit: the Benefits of Laughter (NirAndFar) I interviewed Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life.

Hindsight Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices (Anchor) Hindsight bias occurs when people feel that they “knew it all along” when they believe that…


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Recently I had the opportunity to sit down for a Q&A with Dr. Jennifer Aaker, and and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life

To read my interview, click here.

Posts you may have missed:

Hypocrites: How to Survive in a World that’s Full of Them (Letter — February 4, 2021)


How to overcome psychological reactance, the rarely discussed psychological reflex that’s holding you back

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Illustrations: Fru Pinter

Recently, as I was clearing the dinner table, I asked my daughter if she could wash the dishes.

“I was going to, Dad,” she said. “But now that you’ve asked me to, I don’t want to anymore.”

I should have known better. This was a classic case of psychological reactance.

Psychological reactance is our knee-jerk negative reaction to being told what to do. It’s why, when you were a teenager and your mother told you to put on your jacket, you would not put on your jacket, just ’cause. Only later, as you’d hear your teeth chattering in the cold…


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Meet Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life.

Dr. Jennifer Aaker teaches about human-centered AI, designing for VR/AR, and the power of story at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was awarded the MBA Professor of the Year, 2018–2019. Her work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Science.

Naomi Bagdonas is a lecturer at the Stanford GSB, an executive coach for leaders of Fortune 100 companies, and a media consultant for celebrities making appearances on…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Hypocrites: How to Survive in a World That’s Full of Them (NirAndFar) Applying different standards to people is natural. The problem with hypocrites is that they employ double standards out of habit.

How to Turn Off Harmful Stress Like a Switch (YouTube) How do you deal with stress? Did you know there’s a bullet-proof method for disarming stress?


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Nir Eyal explores how applying the Hooked Model drives customer retention and engagement by fostering good habits

Authored by Nir Eyal, best selling author of ‘Hooked’ and ‘Indistractable’ explores the behavior apps should foster to drive retention on Google’s Apps, Games, & Insights podcast.

Customer retention is vital for every app business: if customers don’t hang around, neither will your company. Therefore, a successful retention strategy is becoming more important for every online business.

Everybody wants to be a growth hacker, and wants their product to go viral. However, customer growth, while very important, can always be bought using ads.

By contrast, you cannot buy retention and engagement: it must be built into the product.

But where…

Nir Eyal

Author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Want to overcome distraction? Get my free 80-page guide to becoming “Indistractable” at: NirAndFar.com

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