Deception, self-deception, superstition and coincidence

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Deception, self-deception, superstition and coincidence by Mind Map: Deception, self-deception, superstition and coincidence

1. Deception

1.1. Self-deception

1.1.1. A process of misleading ourselves to believe in something that is clearly false - MISLEADING YOURSELF

1.1.1.1. e.g. a smoker trying to quit thinking 'just one more will do no harm'

1.1.2. Why do we do this?

1.1.2.1. Evolutionary psychologists have suggested there are adaptive advantages in terms of survival

1.1.2.1.1. By subconsciously deceiving themselves, the person may be better at deceiving others and thus ensure its survival and the passing on of genes

1.1.2.1.2. Deception is favourable in the short term in the long term it is counterproductive

1.1.2.1.3. Evolutionary research is post-hoc (after the event)

1.1.2.2. Psychoanalysis reveals that self-deception involves Self-protection from painful knowledge e.g I am not fat

1.1.2.3. Cognitivism

1.1.2.3.1. Gur et al (1979) - voice recognition task - Ps were recorded speaking and asked to identify themselves - skin-conductiive responses indicated Ps heard their own voice but they did not verbally identify it - this was self deception

1.1.2.3.2. Palm readings - Ps want their readings to be accurate therefore trick themselves into believing the person doing the reading has great insight - self validication

1.2. The simple misrepresentation of information, a process in which you might convince another that the information you present is true when it is clearly not - MISLEADING OTHERS

2. Superstition

2.1. The subjective belief that a behaviour will have an effect on another area, either positively or negatively, these are often ritualistic

2.1.1. e.g. olympic diver Tom Daley has a toy monkey has a toy monkey that is present at all competitions and sits on his bag where 'he can see Tom'

2.1.2. e.g. not walking under ladders

2.2. It is better to incorrectly make causal links than to miss them.

2.3. Behavioural explanation

2.3.1. Skinner (1948) - pigeons that were reinforced with food after performing a random behaviour continued to display the new ritual behaviour despite there being no real causal relationship and no further reward.

2.3.1.1. This behaviour may have been a result of hunger

2.3.2. The behaviour in the mind is not rewarded every time it occurs, but there is enough of a link in the mind that the individual will continue the behaviour thinking that it will effect the outcome

2.3.3. We develop the superstition that walking under a ladder causes bad luck

2.3.4. By not walking under a ladder and getting to work safely, we are being negatively reinforced and anxiety related to the superstitious behaviour is reduced

2.3.5. The behaviour is repeated

2.4. Cognitive

2.4.1. We forget the behaviour which disprove a superstition but remember those which confirm it

2.4.1.1. e.g. Tom Daley's ritual may occur when he performs better than average and also when he performs below average or normal, yet he continues to do the ritual

2.5. When we avoid walking under ladders etc we are, in a sense, confirming our own semi-conscious belief in the power of superstition, which is a natural extension of anomalistic experience in everyday life

3. Coincidence

3.1. Two events occur at the same time and it is assumed that one event caused the other

3.1.1. e.g. you think about a friend and all of a sudden they ring you

3.2. There is a question about whether coincidence shows some form of psychic ability or is simply a result of chance

3.3. Marks and Kammann (1980) - we should view psychical phenomena realistically, that when two random events happen with a link it is difficult to believe it is not meaningful

4. Could the effect of anomalistic behaviours simply be the product of our own self deception- our failure to look at the situation rationally?