Skip to main content

Self-deception is adaptive in itself

  • Louisa C. Egan (a1)

Von Hippel & Trivers reason that the potential benefits of successfully deceiving others provide a basis for the evolution of self-deception. However, as self-deceptive processes themselves provide considerable adaptive value to an individual, self-deception may have evolved as an end in itself, rather than as the means to an end of improving other-deception.

Hide All
Aspinwall L. G. & Richter L. (1999) Optimism and self-mastery predict more rapid disengagement from unsolvable tasks in presence of alternatives. Motivation and Emotion 23:221–45.
Babad E. (1997) Wishful thinking among voters: Motivational and cognitive influences. International Journal of Public Opinion Research 9:105–25.
Balcetis E. & Dunning D. (2010) Wishful seeing: Desired objects are seen as closer. Psychological Science 21:147–52.
Balcetis E., Dunning D. & Miller R. L. (2008) Do collectivists know themselves better than individualists? Cross-cultural studies of the holier than thou phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95:1252–67.
Bandura A. (1989) Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist 44:1175–84.
Batson C. D. & Thompson E. R. (2001) Why don't moral people act morally? Motivational considerations. Current Directions in Psychological Science 10:5457.
Bruner J. S. & Goodman C. C. (1947) Value and need as organizing factors in perception. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 42:3344.
Egan L., Bloom P. & Santos L. R. (2010) Choice-induced preferences in the absence of choice: Evidence from a blind two choice paradigm with young children and capuchin monkeys. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46:204207.
Festinger L. & Carlsmith J. M. (1959) Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 58:203–11.
Johansson P., Hall L., Sikstrom S. & Olsson A. (2005) Failure to detect mismatches between intention and outcome in a simple decision task. Science 310:116–19.
Krizan Z. & Windschitl P. D. (2009) Wishful thinking about the future: Does desire impact optimism? Social and Personality Psychology Compass 3:227–43.
Riskind J. H., Moore R. & Bowley L. (1995) The looming of spiders: The fearful perceptual distortion of movement and menace. Behaviour Research and Therapy 33:171–78.
Steele C. M. & Liu T. J. (1983) Dissonance processes as self-affirmation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45:519.
Sternberg R. J. & Kolligan J., eds. (1990) Competence considered. Yale University Press.
Sugiyama L. S., Tooby J., Cosmides L. (2002) Cross-cultural evidence of cognitive adaptations for social exchange among the Shiwiar of Ecuadorian Amazonia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99:11537–45. Available at:
Taylor S. E. & Armor D. A. (1996) Positive illusions and coping with adversity. Journal of Personality 64:873–98.
Taylor S. E. & Brown J. D. (1988) Illusion and well-being: A social psychological perspective on mental health. Psychological Bulletin 103:193210.
Valdesolo P. & DeSteno D. A. (2007) Moral hypocrisy: Social groups and the flexibility of virtue. Psychological Science 18:689–90.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 31 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 112 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.