Self Deception In Psychology

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Self-deception is an important concept in psychology because it is encompassed in our effort to better describe, explain, predict, and change human behavior. It’s the process by which an individual unconsciously blinds him or herself from hard truths or situations. “It [self-deception] is important not only because it’s common and universal, but also because it is responsible for the vast majority of human tragedies, both tragedies of omission and commission” (Burton 1). These terms refer to how humans act and fail to act, due to situations or feelings. There are instances when self-deception is healthy, but if a person never confronts what he or she has oppressed, there can be harmful emotional, mental, and physical consequences. Because self-deception…show more content…
Implicit biases are unconscious and everyone everywhere is affected by them. “In fact, one can simply turn to the front page of just about any newspaper to see implicit bias play out in instances of police brutality against communities of color and blatant Islamophobia plaguing communities throughout the country”(Partelow). These biases help develop self-deception because they impede and influence the thinking process without the person realizing it, and they result in negative long term effects such as promoting discrimination and stereotyping. A common way for self-deception to emerge in humans is when we are confronted with uncomfortable or tragic situations. Our mind fabricates ego defenses to distract us from resulting thoughts and emotions such as fear, despair, and anxiety. “[Ego] defense mechanisms are psychological strategies that are unconsciously used to protect a person from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts or feelings”…show more content…
Sometimes self-deception prevents people from dealing with big problems which results in emotional and physical harm (Truth About Deception). This includes abusive relationships, for example, when a partner is having an affair, or when a man is arguing, angry and hits his partner. Immediately afterward, he smothers her in compliments, apologizes, gives her flowers in order to remedy the action. She forgives him, even though this is chronic behavior. Because the abuse is complicated is continually suppressed, it is harder to acknowledge and leave the relationship. A person needs to be able to differentiate between destructive behaviors and healthy self-deception. Some people use self-deception to avoid making difficult decisions. When it comes to health and fitness, people may lie to themselves, put off exercising or diet changing. A Texas former football player who was gaining weight told himself he didn’t need a personal trainer because he believed he was in control of his situation. When he finally changed his mind, a trainer helped him lose over 50 pounds in one winter
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