Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary
Mele: Real self-deception

Partial belief as a solution to the logical problem of holding simultaneous, contrary beliefs in self-deception research


Keith Gibbins a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6155 Australia gibbons@socs.murdoch.edu.au

Abstract

A major worry in self-deception research has been the implication that people can hold a belief that something is true and false at the same time: a logical as well as a psychological impossibility. However, if beliefs are held with imperfect confidence, voluntary self-deception in the sense of seeking evidence to reject an unpleasant belief becomes entirely plausible and demonstrably real.



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