Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Self-deception is adaptive in itself

Louisa C. Egana1

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208.


Von Hippel & Trivers reason that the potential benefits of successfully deceiving others provide a basis for the evolution of self-deception. However, as self-deceptive processes themselves provide considerable adaptive value to an individual, self-deception may have evolved as an end in itself, rather than as the means to an end of improving other-deception.