Self-Deception Is Helpful But Only In The Short-Term, Research Says

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Psychology News – A philosophy team revealed that people take to self-deception in their everyday lives to maintain positivity. The fruitfulness of the strategy is shown to be helpful, but not in the long run or in crisis.

The team, led by Dr. Francesco Marchi and Professor Albert Newen of Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Antwerp, described four strategies of self-deception: reorganisation of beliefs; selection of facts through purposeful action; rejection of facts by casting doubt on the credibility of the source; and generation of facts from an ambiguous state of affairs. For exemplification, the researchers selected instances around a father, his son, a teacher, and grades to show how self-deception briefly ensures positivity, hopefulness, and progress.

The findings—published in Philosophical Psychology in January 2022—claim that the four-strategies employed in frequent self-deception are harmless in the short-run. But this cognitive equipment is claimed to be very detrimental in the medium and long run, especially in crisis situations or in times of radical challenges that require rapid behavioral changes for evolution.

In serious scenarios in elaborate timelines, self-deception entails distorted risk management and only serves to dampen precautionary attempts at redeeming the situations. In this context, Professor Albert Newen spoke of how self-deception in vaccination drives against coronavirus weakened important public health strategies devised to combat the pandemic.

Professor Albert Newen stated, “Self-deception can therefore stabilize the self-image, established ways of thinking and motivation to act in normal times, but becomes detrimental in times of crisis that require radical rethinking and new ways of acting, and puts society at risk.”

To know more, you may refer to:

Marchi, Francesco & Newen, Albert. (2022). Self-deception in the predictive mind: cognitive strategies and a challenge from motivation. Philosophical Psychology. 1-20. 10.1080/09515089.2021.2019693.

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