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Representations and decision rules in the theory of self-deception

  • Steven Pinker (a1)

Self-deception is a powerful but overapplied theory. It is adaptive only when a deception-detecting audience is in the loop, not when an inaccurate representation is invoked as an internal motivator. First, an inaccurate representation cannot be equated with self-deception, which entails two representations, one inaccurate and the other accurate. Second, any motivational advantages are best achieved with an adjustment to the decision rule on when to act, not with a systematic error in an internal representation.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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