A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

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wishful thinking

Wishful thinking is interpreting facts, reports, events, perceptions, etc., according to what one would like to be the case rather than according to the actual evidence. Wishful thinking should not be confused with positive thinking, which, in its most absurd form, is trying to make things happen by willing them to happen.

See also communal reinforcement, confirmation bias,self-deception, subjective validation, and testimonials.

further reading

books and articles

Dupuy, Jean Pierre. Editor. Self- Deception and Paradoxes of Rationality (Cambridge University Press 1998).

Fingarette, Henry. Self-Deception (University of California Press, 2000).

Gilovich, Thomas. How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life (New York: The Free Press, 1993).

Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life, 8th edition (Wadsworth, 1997).

Kruger, Justin and David Dunning. "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology December 1999 Vol. 77, No. 6, 1121-1134.

McLaughlin, Brian P., Alelie Rorty, Amelia O. Rorty. Editors. Perspectives on Self-Deception (University of California Press 1988).

Mele, Alfred R. Self-Deception Unmasked (Princeton University Press 2001).

Taylor, Shelly E. Positive Illusions: Creative Self-Deception and the Healthy Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1989).

Wiseman, Richard. Deception & Self-Deception: Investigating Psychics (Prometheus, 1997).


Self-deception bibliography (from the Consciousness in the Natural World Project)

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, Department of Psychology, Cornell University

Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self Regulation in Science

Last updated 12-Sep-2014

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