Deception and (in)tolerance: Theory and evidence, Mathew J. Creighton

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 14:00
Sociology-Psychology Building/Sloane Hall
Department of Sociology



Deception is a feature of society. For some, deception is a necessary evil – judged best by what it achieves. Others conclude that we always deceive, pursuing a strategic performance that every situation requires to some extent. Still others work tirelessly to put a price on deception, seeking that threshold after which deceiving is no longer worth the cost. Finally, we have the absolutists who see deception as morally wrong regardless of outcome, context or cost. Parents deceive, strategically manipulating their children. Children deceive to avoid consequences and embarrassment. I deceive [This is the single greatest presentation of all time!]. You deceive. But, why? This presentation explores how social science theorizes the meaning and use of deception in social interaction, using a demographic perspective. Drawing from published and forthcoming work, we will consider a layered model of deceptive expression and evidence of intentional deception as a strategic tool to mask (in)tolerance in multiple contexts. We will consider mass incarceration, Brexit, refugee migration among other topics. Finally, we will look at the link between deception and behaviour, highlighting some future directions for this work.



Mathew Creighton received a joint PhD in Sociology and Demography from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Before arriving at the School of Sociology at University College Dublin in 2016, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, a lecturer in the Department of Political and Social Science at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and an assistant professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is an unapologetic, serial collaborator who is dedicated to interdisciplinary perspectives. Reflective of his rejection of any bright lines between disciplines in social science is a pursuit of peer- reviewed publication in sociology, demography, political science, criminology, public health, history and urban studies. He is the current PI and national coordinator for the European Social Survey in Ireland, Director of Research for the School of Sociology at University College Dublin and Director of the MSc in Spatial Demography.


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