Deception refers to the act—big or small, cruel or kind—of encouraging people to believe information that is not true. Lying is a common form of deception—stating something known to be untrue with the intent to deceive.
While most people are generally honest, even those who subscribe to honesty engage in deception sometimes. Studies show that the average person lies several times a day. Some of those lies are big (“I’ve never cheated on you!”) but more often, they are little white lies (“That dress looks fine”) deployed to avoid uncomfortable situations or spare someone’s feelings.