There's some key fundamental truths about deception. I'm going to start with the story about the Cuckoo bird. We might be familiar with the Cuckoo bird mostly because of the cuckoo clock. But it turns out the Cuckoo bird can teach us something really important about the deception process. The Cuckoo bird, rather than laying its own eggs and feeding its own chicks, actually lays eggs in other birds' nests. So birds like the Tree Pipit will actually be tricked, into raising Cuckoo chicks. There's something odd about this. You can sometimes see Cuckoo Bird's waiting, watching another bird's nest, waiting for that bird to leave, to go get food. The cuckoo bird will fly in, sometimes discard eggs that are already in the nest, quickly lay an egg, and then fly away. Now, what happens after that is actually even more bizarre. We've hijacked a system here, or the cuckoo bird has hijacked a system where as soon as that bird hatches, the cuckoo bird hatches, there's an open beak. And here this bird mother instinctually feeds that open beak, even when the bird looks nothing like their own offspring. So here you can see a Cuckoo bird chick being fed by a Tree Pipit who's so much smaller than the chick. So, it can seem really odd and yet we're hijacking this trusting process and we've used deception the way that allows Cuckoo birds to exploit other birds' generosity. Now it turns out deception is hardwired. I talk about the cuckoo bird because I want to suggest that deception is something that's hardwired. It's not just an aberrant human behavior. But it's something that's actually deeply engrained In our animal nature. And it turns out it's not just cuckoo birds and tree pipits, cuckoo birds do this to many other kinds of birds. And there are other birds too that engage in the same behavior. We've seen actually deception documented in ravens. Ravens will actually do things that will trick other birds about where food is. We've seen apes, monkeys, even fish engage in deception. Capuchin monkeys, for example, will sound an alarm as if a predator is nearby to go steal food from other monkeys. Some predators will fake their own death. Pretend to be dead, until prey comes near, and then they'll grab that prey. Or, in a very pro-social way, you'll see some birds, fake injury. So, the morning dove for example, if there's a predator nearby, and they have young offspring in their nest will actually pretend to drag their wing as if they're injured to draw attention away from their offspring. So, they're engaging in deception as soon as the predator comes near. The wounded dove flies off. So we see deception throughout the wild animal kingdom and it's not surprising that's a really integral part of our human experience. So, here is some key truth about it. Deception hijacks existing systems, so like the Tree Pipit There's a system that's hardwired. The tree pipit will feed the beak of a hungry bird in its nest. It's a reasonable system. And the cuckoo bird has just figured out how to exploit that. And the same is true in a lot of our other transactions where, for example, a lot of these scammers With telephone calls, will hijack existing trusting systems, or some will say I'm in trouble or I need help. We're hijacking that system and deception exploits trust. Now, deception is also a hardwire. It's something that were hardwired to do and it's actually an important part of our cognitive development as we develop more complicated thinking, deception comes along with that. Third, deception's often successful. Most deception goes undetected. And that makes it a very pervasive issue that sometimes a big problem and sometimes a benefit. And so this fourth point about deceptions it's not always bad. And in fact I'm going to argue that we should teach people how and when to deceive. So, it's a developmental milestone. So, when your child starts telling you lies, rather than punishing them too severely, I would actually celebrate that milestone. It demonstrates a theory of mind. The idea that what's in our own heads is different than what's in everybody else's head. And deception reflects that. That is It's the recognition that what I know. I know I just had a cookie, but you might not know that. And so when I tell you, I haven't had a cookie yet. It's a demonstration of this theory of mind. Of course I'm trying to get another cookie but it represents the idea that I know that you might not know that. And that really represents an important ability for us to take perspective and engage with other people successfully. And of course there many positive ways to use the deception to say things like. I really like that gift, or I am really happy you showed up. So, deception is a developmental milestone and not just something to be punished. And deception is chronic. In surveys of teenagers, they found that 86%t say they lie to their parents on a regular basis. 75% say they lie to friends. 73% say they lie to siblings. So, it's not just parents, but teenagers say they lie all the time. In couples, 69% lie, more than two-thirds, say they lie to their spouse. Now, the lies we tell tend to be a little different. So women are more likely to lie in a prosocial way to make people feel better. And men are more likely to lie in ways that enhance themselves, that make them look better than they actually are. So there's some slight differences in how we lie, but the persistence, of lying is really incredible.