Deception: Who Deceives and Why Do People Lie?
by Kevin Hogan
A great deal of self deception happens when we tell stories and leave out the context or key elements in the story where, if told, would change the perception of the person being talked about completely.
FACT: Most deceit, in fact, happens when people are telling stories.
And stories capture the imagination (or can bore the listener to death...but that is another article as well).
My Aunt Sandra, who "said it like it is", often hurt the feelings of those around her. Not intentionally... she was just one of those few people who never cut a corner...at least consciously in communication. She told people when their hair looked bad and they were getting too fat.
And of course,...that "ability" to ALWAYS tell the truth isn't going to make life better or easier, as so many saw in Jim Carrey's movie, "Liar, Liar".
Honesty is not adaptive for reproduction.
Prevarication, Embellishment, Story-telling
Women spend an hour in front of a mirror covering up who they are while men spend an hour thinking up stories to tell that woman so they will find him more interesting....
In fact, so much of our conscious behavior is spent thinking about what and how to cover up for various reasons that the conscious self is very different from the nonconscious self in personality. (I've discussed this in depth in Science of Influence CD Library volumes 25-36)
As I said, self deception is prevalent.
- 70% of high school seniors believe they have greater than average leadership ability
- 97% of mutual fund managers believe they are better than average. (And their actual numbers are easily available on any financial website!)
- 80% of women think they are above average automobile drivers
- 90% of men think they are above average automobile drivers
- 1,000,000 college students were surveyed nationally on the same day: ALL million said they were better than average at getting along with others!
- 60% of those same million put themselves in the top 10% in the ability to get along with others and a full 25% said they were in the top 1% in getting along with others!
Ready for a big one:
- 93% of college professors believe they are above average in their profession.
- Homophobic men are almost always more likely to be aroused significantly more than non-homophobic men when watching men do it with other men.....(as measured in the way you can only imagine and I can't write about.....)
Who's best at avoiding self-deception?
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