Effects of Deception
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
We presume that information is an advantage that results in an increased mastery of the environment and more power over competitors. For those who subscribe to this logic, self-deceit (lying to oneself) would appear to be self-defeating. How, then, could having inaccurate information be beneficial? In the following discussion, I explore this apparent paradox and investigate both the positive and negative effects of deceiving others.
Why do we provide ourselves with false information? In fact, a major thrust of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic technique has been to increase an individual's insight, to bring that which was previously buried in the unconscious to the surface. It sounds heretical to suggest that self-deception might help regulate self-esteem and promote mental health, yet the data that support this suggestion are robust.
Alloy and Abramson ( 1979) found that nondepressed people, in