Here is a translation from the recently discovered Diary of Moses, originally scratched onto sheep's skin by an steady and ornamental hand. The passage seems to suggest a moment of doubt in Moses, right before a theophany.
There's a lot of disdain for passive aggressive behavior, and the disdain only drives it deeper underground. Let's compassionately acknowledge that we're all capable of it, use curiosity to understand its source, and try to find better ways of owning our power and autonomy.
A smoker goes for a hike, decides that she's careful enough with her cigarettes to light up, and accidentally starts a forest
Evidence shows that we think we're superior to others in every domain: We believe we're smarter, more attractive, more likable, and more skilled at a wide range of tasks, from math to leadership. For a long time, I hoped these narcissistic tendencies wouldn't extend to the domain of giving and helping. I was wrong.
What does self-deception mean? As RadioLab's story suggests, self-deceivers are not only more successful, but often happier. Go figure.
Being a self-confessed liar, I am interested in why we do it. I have always been interested in why people do what they do, and lying is one of those behaviors that are ever present, yet hidden in a dark corner, obscured from view.
Both research studies and clinical evidence from psychotherapy show that a strong belief or expectation about achieving a goal or overcoming a problem can have a powerful impact upon what actually happens in your life.
We have long known that lucky charms and superstitious rituals provide psychological comfort to those hoping to win the lottery, knock in a winning run, or get an A on a calculus exam, but now there is good evidence that our superstitions actually work -- not through magic but through psychology.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoAre you ready to go down the rabbit hole of possibilities with your own life? Start with a moment from your past in which rapid, intense, and clear change occurred. Now, thoughtfully consider who you would be today if the turning point incident had never occurred.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo"Self-deception" might seem like a fairly heavy-handed term to use in describing the average 5-year-old's belief in Santa Claus. So let's extend the metaphor, as Michael Shermer does, back to our ancestors.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoWe need to trust that the facts, concepts, and explanations that we get from the people around us are generally truthful. There is so much to learn, that when we are exposed to an idea our default is to believe that it is true.
Why do we believe fictions in the face of facts? When do the scales fall from our eyes?
We tend to think of ourselves as more talented, knowledgeable, and indispensable than others. The danger of this inflated self-image is thinking we don't need to work harder than our competition.
It is well-known that women have curious powers to reduce men to hysteria or violence. Less well-known is the power of promiscuous female flies to reduce scientists to apparently self-deceptive blindness to scientific facts.
For years, psychologists have known that a lot of us exaggerate our qualities. In my case, it's overestimating how young I look. But get this: A 2009 study found that students who exaggerated their grades and grade point average showed "greater achievement motivation and positive affect."
In the dynamics of the sociology of science, there must be some payout for self-deceived true believers.
Traditional psychological theories have considered a close relationship with truth as an essential ingredient of mental health. We're no longer so sure.
What do Williams Gehris, America's most decorated war hero, and Walter Williams, the last Civil War veteran to pass away, have in common? Both were frauds.
Consider that you want someone to follow your lead. In order to hold your head high and ask for that, you need to really trust yourself. The first step in building self-trust is telling the truth about where you are right now.