Self-deceived about self-deception: An evolutionary analysis

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):116-117 (1997)
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Abstract

Mele's modified definition of self-deception is consistent with evolutionary theory. Self-deception is most likely whenever ignorance confers (reproductive) advantage, namely, in impression management, deception, conformity, social norms, reproductive knowledge, and existential conflicts. Second-order self-deception (unawareness of unawareness) perpetuates self-deception and may be the reason for our misguided definitions.

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