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What About Self-Deception At Work?

You know about this.

You’re at work and Jerry in Marketing is a pain in the butt. Jerry got 87 pieces of 360 feedback that told him he is a pain in the butt. What does Jerry say?

‘I am committed to my belief system.’

In Jerry’s case, that appears to be some secret code phrase for ‘Regardless of what you show me, I will ignore your evidence and bless you with my unbending wonderfulness.’

When asked about the 87 pieces of consistent feedback, Jerry laments that he is misunderstood. By 87 people. All the time.

 The Truth About Self-Deception

Thankfully, WE aren’t like Jerry. Or are we?

The folks at one of my faves, PsyBlog, tell us:

‘. . .it’s not hard to spot the tell-tale symptoms of self-deception in other people. So perhaps we are also deceiving ourselves in ways we can’t clearly perceive? But is that really possible and would we really believe the lies that we ‘told’ ourselves anyway? That’s what Quattrone & Tversky (1984) explored in a classic social psychology experiment published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.’

If you want to understand more about the ease of self-deception, read The Truth About Self-Deception.

The conclusion:

‘This experiment is neat because it shows the different gradations of self-deception, all the way up to its purest form, in which people manage to trick themselves hook, line and sinker. At this level people think and act as though their incorrect belief is completely true, totally disregarding any incoming hints from reality.’


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