Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open peer commentary

Self-deception: A paradox revisited

Albert Bandura

Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. [email protected]


A major challenge to von Hippel & Trivers's evolutionary analysis of self-deception is the paradox that one cannot deceive oneself into believing something while simultaneously knowing it to be false. The authors use biased information seeking and processing as evidence that individuals knowingly convince themselves of the truth of their falsehood. Acting in ways that keep one uninformed about unwanted information is self-deception. Acting in selectively biasing and misinforming ways is self-bias.