Social Deception References, revisited

Gessler, Nicholas (gessler@ANTHRO.SSCNET.UCLA.EDU)
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 20:04:00 PDT

Hello All,

Many thanks for the many replies (16) to the inquiry on theories of the
evolution of various forms of deception. I'll expand upon some of the
references and post them to Anthro-L and Darwin-L next week. (I have to
leave for the Simulating Societies conference tomorrow.) For those who were
going to look up one or two more citations, I would appreciate it if you
would do so, and I will include these.

It seems to me that there might be some literature in three other professions
that practice deception, and I'm wondering if anyone can add any particularly
relevant references from these:

1) Stage Magicians and Illusionists. There was an old book called
Illustrated Magic which went briefly into theory. Most books explain tricks
but very few seem to go into the perceptual psychology of creating illusions.

2) Military Tacticians. I have one reference, and I'm sure there are many
having to do with feints, camoflage, and disinformation. But are there any
that address forms of deception that might be relevant to pre-industrial
society in non-warfare situations?

3) Advertising "persuasion." Cons and stings. The use of language to
manipulate, disinform, or selectively communicate.

Again, I would hope for concise theoretical assessments of these forms of
deception in populations, hopefully with discussions of their fitness in a
co-adaptational sense.

Best regards,
Nick Gessler