The Cause and Effects of Self-Deception – Essay Outline
Inevitably, there must have been several circumstances in which you felt it was acceptable to lie or simply
avoid telling the truth, and yes, to some extent this can be fine. However, when there is too much of a discrepancy
between how you view the world and how reality shows itself to be, or if lying becomes a constant behaviour
harming others, this is when corrective action must be taken to avoid disastrous consequences. This is known as self-
deception; believing in something that is contrary to what is real, and justifying one’s behaviour to fit with their own
perception of themselves and the world around them, even when aware of the truth. Depending on the situation,
this can lead to several benefits and drawbacks, which will be discussed in greater detail further into the essay.
Body Paragraph 1 – Differences in Personal Views of Themselves
When individuals choose to believe one aspect of themselves, while ignoring, but still aware of another characteristic
of their personality, they paradoxically believe in both parts at the same time. Self- deception works when people
see themselves from the perspective of someone who does not know how they fail.
a) Advantages of Self – Deception
- Self-deception has its benefits, as it allows people to block out negative thoughts; a practice that may
help a person succeed or achieve a goal. Psychological studies have shows that people who are overly
optimistic about their own abilities often have enhanced motivation, which enables them to do better
when faced with difficulties, than those with more realistic assessments of their own talents.
- People with higher self esteem and confidence can positively influence and motivate those around them
to achieve goals.
- Ex. Over confidence in a medical practitioner is considered a good thing in that the confidence displayed
will probably reflect their competence. However, if this overconfidence if not matched by performance,
then it could have negative consequences in a poor medical outcome for the patients.
b) Disadvantages of Self – Deception
- Can lead to negative consequences and inhibit self-improvement, lead to an inflated ego, and make it
difficult to terms with the truth. People always have this desire for power and dominance, status,
adhering to social norms, self-image, and for attaining unrealistic goals.
- Can be damaging to a person’s overall well-being as it fails to let individuals know the truth, and
encourages them to knowingly justify false beliefs to themselves. This is closely linked to forming
irrational beliefs, and then imagining things to be more favourable than they really are, rather than by
analyzing the real situation -evident when individuals deny, suppress, or minimize the truth.
- Just to enhance one’s status within a group environment, some may end up overrating their true
abilities; leading to excessive pride. It is immoral to think that one is more important, or worth more
than others, as this leads to viewing people without compassion, and treating them as objects.
- It is important to look at strengths and weaknesses in an unbiased manner, and take corrective action to
improve upon faults, and effect