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The selfish goal: Self-deception occurs naturally from autonomous goal operation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2011

Julie Y. Huang
Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.,
John A. Bargh
Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.,


Self-deception may be a natural consequence of active goal operation instead of an adaptation for negotiating the social world. We argue that because autonomous goal programs likely drove human judgment and behavior prior to evolution of a central executive or “self,” these goal programs can operate independently to attain their desired end states and thereby produce outcomes that “deceive” the individual.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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