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Deceit and Self Deception

Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others

Robert Trivers

The Folly of Fools: Same book, alternative title

If you ask BMW owners why they bought their car they will give every other reason except status, but if you ask them why someone else bought one, they will assure you it was for status.

Ask people to supply stories of when they were angered or made someone else angry. Perpetrator describes event as being meaningful and comprehensible, while the victim describes it a s arbitrary, unnecessary and incomprehensible. Victims often provide a long narrative of continuing harm and grievance, whereas perpetrators describe an isolated event with no lasting implications.

One affect of this asymmetry between victim and perpetrator is that when victim suppresses anger at the succession of slights, then finally boiling over, the perpetrator sees only the final precipitating event and easily sees the victim's angry response as overreaction.

In many groups of fireflies, females of one species respond to the courtship flash of a male of another species by giving not her own species return flash, but that of the female of his species. Since evo has selected for 'indiscriminate eagerness' males, there are plenty of easy meals to be had.

One third of all orchid species are pollinated by deception - the plant offers no real reward for pollination, just the illusion of one. Most species mimic the smell of food without giving any. Some mimic the smell and appearance of the female of target species, inducing pseudo-copulation.

Can't find your car keys? Try naming them aloud. The right side of the brain needs to hear the object named before it realizes there's a search going on.

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