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Unpublished Paper
The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Confidence, Self-Deception, and Their Effects on "Rationality" and Deviance
ExpressO (2013)
  • Alexander D. Jakle
Abstract
Law and economics suggests that we behave in ways that maximize our preferences, but what if we are deceived about what we want or how best to get it? This article explores how the psychology of self-deception can be marshaled to explain unexpected patterns of law-breaking and deviance. Using original research from a qualitative case study of amateur NCAA baseball players, I examine the ways in which self-deception leads us to systematically reinterpret and process information, fundamentally changing how we weigh the costs and benefits associated with breaking rules. Our preferences are inextricably interwoven with our identities, and we go to extreme lengths to protect our senses of self from information that might undermine them. When we do, we lie to ourselves about what we want, how much we want it, how likely we are to get it, and how to go about it. These lies lead to different patterns of rule-breaking than simple, "objective" cost-benefit analysis would suggest. What emerges is a more nuanced picture of a legal actor, and a fresh, original look at why we break the rules we do.
Publication Date
July 24, 2013
Citation Information
Alexander D. Jakle. "The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Confidence, Self-Deception, and Their Effects on "Rationality" and Deviance" ExpressO (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alexander_jakle/2/