Recently, I went to a talk here at UC Santa Barbara by a communications scholar who studies deception. When he got to one of the puzzling aspects of the available research on deception, he said that thinking about it kept him up at night.
I think he was serious. It was an interesting moment for me, because I realized that, even though I studied the psychology of deceiving and detecting deceit for decades, and still do some writing and some workshops, the puzzles of the field do not keep me up at night.
Thinking about issues relevant to singles – now that keeps me up at night, and in a good way. That was especially so when I was first trying to figure out what was going on – for example, why is it that people can be so hostile towards single people who are happy with their lives? I still keep a small notebook on my nightstand so I can jot down thoughts when I don’t want to get up and turn on my computer.
I like intellectual puzzles, and many of the singles issues I ponder are not just academic – they are relevant to the lives of real people, sometimes including my own.
But deception issues are relevant to real people, too. It is just that they don’t grab me in the way that singles issues do. I still find the psychology of lying interesting – but not captivating.
I may be writing about deception a bit more than usual in the next month because some inquiries and invitations have sent me back to my files. A hot topic since 9/11 has been the matter of airport security and whether it is possible to discern bad intentions from the behaviors of passengers about to go through security. There were Congressional hearings on the matter not too long ago, and leading up to those hearings, several Congressional staff members called to talk to me at length about the issues. Also, in a few weeks, I’m also going to be giving a 3-hour workshop on research on deception to about 70 polygraphers.
Meanwhile, I still haven’t found someone to update this website and blog. So I still don’t know how many people are reading this blog, but I’m guessing it is mostly a group of insiders. (The trolls haven’t yet found us!) I hope you will feel welcome to let me know what you would most like to see in this space. I started this personal blog for a number of reasons – to write about more personal matters that seem less appropriate for Psych Today, to write about topics other than singles (such as deception), and to write as often as I would like (or can find time for) about singles without feeling that I am posting too often at Psych Today. I also wanted to have more opportunities to invite people to guest blog. (Nominations, including self-nominations, are always welcome.)
What would you most like to see in this space?
On still another topic, I now have Facebook pages for my new Singlism book as well as for Singled Out. I’m also happy to be Facebook friends with people who read my books or my blogs. If you want to be FB friends, just mention in your FB request that you read my work if I would not already recognize your name from comments or emails. (Links to all of my books are on the books page of this website.)