We all deceive ourselves to a greater or lesser extent. And we do it on all kinds of things, especially things that we are not even very aware of.
This is clearly evidenced when we are subjected to a survey of any kind: due to the call social desirability biasWe will respond to the pollsters (and also to family and friends) that we are better than we really are: that we do not vote for a certain stigmatized political party, that we go more to the gym than we do, that we read more books, that we are better people…
We tend to want to convince ourselves that we are better than we are in everything. Therefore, we falsify what we say more or less subtly. Why? The anthropologist Robert Trivers, from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, in New Jersey, argues that when we have fooled ourselves we don't have to work so hard to deceive others.
We also usually present ourselves as more competent than the average, for example driving our car. Because when we talk about ourselves we prefer to talk more about the type of person we would like to be than about the person we are.
Behind all this is also the so-called effect of wobegon lake, a fictional population of Minnesota in which, according to the writer Garrison Keillor, "All women are strong, all men are handsome and all children are above average." Due to this effect, we tend to believe above average (something statistically impossible).
To test in which areas we self-deceive ourselves more or less, in 2008 a study was carried out in which the subjects they lied about practically all the elements that make up their identity: their abilities in very diverse areas, their psychiatric condition, their exercise regime, their emotions, their behavior with their partner and their diet.
However, there were areas in which subjects tended to lie less, as it abounds in it. Derek Thompson in his book Hits creators:
For example, religion. Believing in God is perhaps one of the few strongest traits than a person's desire to be accepted.