Flavors of self-deception: Ontology and epidemiology

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):125-126 (1997)
Mele questions the prevalence and ontological status of strong forms of self-deception, as well as our attempt at experimental demonstration. Without validated indicators outside laboratory contexts, statements about prevalence are purely speculative. Conceptualizing self-deception without positing the motivated lack of awareness of a contradictory belief is unsatisfactory in dealing with issues of “agency,” that is, how can we stop the processing of threatening information unless we recognize that the information is threatening?
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