In his review of Robert Trivers's book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, Johannes Bakker notes that the book "is based on the idea that a great deal about everyday life could be explained much better if we paid more attention to the ways in which we human beings tend to deceive others, and even ourselves." Bakker also notes that "[s]ocial psychologists will, for example, find that Trivers does not seem to believe that self-presentation and self-perception are much more than the product of deceit and self-deceit."
However, what do we know about the relationship between self-deception and impression management? If a colleague tells me that he is sure that the female stranger across the room is romantically attracted to him, is this self-deception (egocentric bias) on his part, or is it his attempt at impression management for my benefit (to convince me that he is irresistible to women), or some combination of the two? What are the important moderating and mediating variables?
Do self-deception and impression management work in concert to guide our attitudes and behavior, or does the occurrence of one preclude the other?
By Johannes I. (Hans) Bakker
PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(26)