a2 Sloan School and Neuroeconomics Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139. [email protected]
a3 Sloan School and Neuroeconomics Center, Department of Economics, and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139. [email protected]
Von Hippel & Trivers (VH&T) propose that self-deception has evolved to facilitate the deception of others. However, they ignore the subjective moral costs of deception and the crucial issue of credibility in self-deceptive speech. A self-signaling interpretation can account for the ritualistic quality of some self-deceptive affirmations and for the often-noted gap between what self-deceivers say and what they truly believe.