Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Self-deception is adaptive in itself

Louisa C. Egana1

a1 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.

(Online publication February 03 2011)

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    The evolution and psychology of self-deception William von Hippel and Robert Trivers School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.; Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.