Tag Archives: Science

The Science of Deception: Understanding the Psychology of Lying

Deception, or lying, is an everyday phenomenon that is woven into the fabric of human interaction. While it can take many different forms, from little white lies to more serious forms of deceit, lying is a nearly universal human behavior. However, the reasons for lying are not always clear, and the motivations for dishonesty can be complex and varied.

The psychology of lying is an area of research that has received increasing attention over the last few decades. Researchers have investigated a wide range of topics related to deception, including the factors that influence whether someone decides to lie, the cognitive processes that occur during the act of lying, and the social and emotional consequences of lying.

One of the most interesting findings in this field of research is that everyone lies, to some extent. While some individuals may be more honest than others, it is rare to find someone who has never told a lie. This is because lying is often seen as a way to manage social interactions and relationships. For example, telling a white lie to spare someone’s feelings or avoid an awkward situation can be a social lubricant that helps to smooth over potentially difficult interactions.

However, the motivations for lying can be more complex than simply trying to be polite or avoid conflict. In some cases, people may lie to gain some sort of personal advantage, such as getting a job, avoiding punishment, or winning an argument. Others may lie to avoid negative consequences, such as shame, guilt, or embarrassment. Still, others may lie simply because they enjoy the thrill of getting away with something.

The cognitive processes that occur during the act of lying are also an area of interest for researchers. Studies have shown that lying requires more mental effort than telling the truth, as individuals must not only generate a plausible story but also keep track of the details of that story to avoid being caught in a lie. This additional cognitive load can be physically and mentally exhausting, leading to increased stress and anxiety.

The consequences of lying can also be significant, both for the liar and for the people around them. When someone is caught in a lie, it can damage their reputation, erode trust, and strain social relationships. In some cases, lying can also have legal or financial consequences, such as when someone is caught committing fraud or perjury.

In addition to the social and emotional consequences of lying, researchers have also investigated the physiological effects of deception. Studies have shown that lying can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, as well as lead to changes in skin conductance and facial expressions. These physiological changes can be useful in detecting lies, as they can reveal the stress and anxiety that often accompany dishonesty.

Overall, the science of deception offers a fascinating look into one of the most common and yet complex human behaviors. By understanding the motivations, cognitive processes, and social and emotional consequences of lying, we can gain insights into our own behavior and learn to be more honest and transparent in our interactions with others. While lying may be a part of human nature, it is up to us to decide when and how to be truthful, and to weigh the potential costs and benefits of dishonesty.


Shape Shifting Liquid Metal Could Revolutionize Robotics

This technique can be applied to many operations in the future, including soft robotics and even flexible computer displays.

By Danielle De La Bastide (via Interesting Engineering)

Shape-shifting metal likely brings to mind images from Terminator 2 or even Avatar: The Last AirbenderBut this futuristic-sounding premise is a lot more fact than fiction.

From self-healing robots to reconfigurable electronic circuits, the applications of liquid metal are only limited by the imaginations of the scientists working with them. Let’s take a look at some of the latest revolutions, discoveries, and innovations in this material. 

2D morphing metal

In 2017, scientists at the University of Sussex and Swansea University invented a way to morph liquid metal into 2D shapes using an electrical charge. Though still in the early stages of development, this team’s research could open up new possibilities in soft robotics, smart electronics, computer graphics, and flexible displays. 

Because the electric fields used to shape the liquid are programmed by a computer, the position and shape of the liquid can be programmed and controlled dynamically.

“Liquid metals are an extremely promising class of materials for deformable applications; their unique properties include voltage-controlled surface tension, high liquid-state conductivity, and liquid-solid phase transition at room temperature,” said Professor Sriram Subramanian, head of the INTERACT Lab at the University of Sussex, in a press release. 

Carnegie Mellon Metal Alloy

That same year, research engineers at Carnegie Mellon University created a metal alloy that exists in a liquid state at room temperature and can capacitate liquid metal transistors, flexible circuitry, and perhaps even self-repairing circuits in the far-flung future.

Created at the Soft Machines Lab at Carnegie Mellon by researchers Carmel Majidi, Michael Dickey, and James Wissman, this alloy is the result of a combination of indium and gallium. It would only take two drops of this liquid metal to form or break a circuit thereby opening or closing an entry, similar to a traditional transistor. Better yet, it only requires a voltage of 1 – 10 volts.

Floating bots

In early 2020, a team of researchers at Tsinghua University in China created a liquid metal material so light that it can float on water. The researchers believe it could be used to construct lightweight exoskeletons and shape-shifting robots, as per New Scientist’s report.

Like the researchers at Carnegie Mellon, those at Tsinghua University used a mixture of gallium and indium for their material. To make it float, the team stirred air-filled glass beads of glass into the liquid. 

Despite its extremely low density, the liquid metal material “still maintains excellent conformability, electric conductivity, and stiffness variety under temperature regulation” according to the paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

It will likely take some time before we see shape-shifting floating robots or self-repairing circuits in our daily lives. But in a few decades, these innovations could revolutionize how we think about metal.