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FROM THIS EPISODE

Let's face it: people lie. We lie to each other and to ourselves. Is there a deeper reason why we do it? TED speakers deconstruct the hard truths of deception. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains the hidden reasons we think it's okay to cheat or steal. He says we're predictably irrational — and can be influenced in ways we don't even realize. Pamela Meyer points out manners and cues that can help us suss out a lie. Who hasn't sent a text message saying "I'm on my way" when it wasn't true? But some technology might actually force us to be more honest, says psychologist Jeff Hancock. Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills. The power of the placebo has been consistently proven in medicine. Magician Eric Mead extends that idea to magic, pulling off a gruesome trick that's so convincing, you'll cringe.

Learn more or listen again to this week's episode. which originally aired on June 22, 2014.

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