• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Self-Deception

The literal meaning of self-deception is deceiving or lying to oneself. Two approaches to studying self-deception exist. An interpersonal approach constructs self-deception as the result of an arms race between deception and the detection of deception. Self-deception is the optimal form of deception by which to effectively deceive others without leaking cues for detection. An intrapersonal approach regards self-deception as a stable trait representing unrealistically positive self-evaluation. This trait helps maintain subjective well-being, a high self-concept, and low levels of anxiety. Both children and adults self-deceive when they attempt to deceive others (interpersonal self-deception) or to enhance their self-concepts (intrapersonal self-deception). Comparisons between children and adults can elucidate the mechanisms of self-deception. This entry first discusses interpersonal self-deception through two psychological processes (selective attention and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles