How do we deceive ourselves

Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):229-247 (2003)
Abstract
Mistakes about one's own psychological states generally, and about one's reasons for acting specifically, can sometimes be considered self-deceptive. In the present paper, I address the question of how someone can come to be deceived about his own motives. I propose that false beliefs about our own reasons for acting are often formed in much the same way that we acquire false beliefs about the motives of others. In particular, I argue that non-motivated biases resulting from the way we understand ourselves lead us to draw mistaken inferences about our own motives. People typically are influenced by various stereotypes in the way they view the actions of others. Similarly, our preconceptions about ourselves influence our interpretations of our own actions. Therefore, self-deception, according to the present thesis, is not necessarily motivated. The self-deceived does not necessarily have the belief about herself that she does because of a desire for that belief to be true, rather her belief is influenced by what she expects to believe
Keywords Deception  Mind  Philosophy  Psychology  Self-deception
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