Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Get thee to a laboratory

David Dunninga1

Department of Psychology, Uris Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.


von Hippel & Trivers's central assertion that people self-deceive to better deceive others carries so many implications that it must be taken to the laboratory to be tested, rather than promoted by more indirect argument. Although plausible, many psychological findings oppose it. There is also an evolutionary alternative: People better deceive not through self-deception, but rather by not caring about the truth.