Why Do People Deceive Themselves?

Whom do we deceive the most? If you know the answer, you are not fooling yourself. We deceive ourselves to self-preserve from falling apart and shield our positive image. In the journal philosophical psychology, Marchi & Newen have analyzed four common strategies people use to lie to themselves.

For example, I’m not particularly eager to eat at a particular restaurant.

1. Reorganization of the belief: We constantly change the target. If we cannot achieve something, you may say it is not worth it, or those who earn it may not be happy in the end. My wife calls it a ‘loser’s logic.’ We may rationalize the long wait time rather than saying that the restaurant serves expensive food and I cannot afford it.

2. Evidence selection: People like to select facts that support their beliefs and, conversely, avoid anything that disagrees with their beliefs. We may read and focus on negative “yelp” reviews about the restaurant

3. Evidence Rejection: This is where people discredit facts that may negate their own beliefs. It’s often done by doubting the credibility of the source. You will reject the credibility of the friend who recommended the restaurant.

4. Evidence Generation: When above all fails, we try to develop our faulty logic for why it happens. I.e., The restaurant is not in a nice neighborhood or parking will be hard to find.

You may have encountered some of these strategies in discussions about COVID-19 and vaccinations. “These aren’t malicious procedures, but part of the basic cognitive equipment of humans to preserve their established view of themselves and the world,” said the author. Some people view those as self-preserving, and some consider them immature dense mechanisms. More Here.