H. Dan O'Hair Texas Tech University Michael J. Cody University of Southern California
An open society living by a rhetoric of deception cannot long endure.
-- Wayne Booth, 1974
Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
-- Psalms 34, 13
One thing I want to tell you now and you can be sure of it. As your president, I will never tell you a lie.
-- Jimmy Carter, 1976 presidential campaign
Deception is a message strategy much like other forms of communication in that it is purposeful, often goal directed, and frequently functions as a relational control device. Deceptive messages are distinct as communication strategies because they serve to produce the very results most communicators attempt to avoid: false impressions and erroneous assumptions. A chapter devoted to deception in a volume exploring the dark side of interpersonal communication presents a number of opportunities, not the least of which is a chance to proselytize about our personal views. In spite of the moralistic implications of the dark side label, we focused our efforts on a variety of research programs to provide a broad picture of deception as an interpersonal communication strategy.