- DENIAL: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind
- Books in brief
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- Denial : self-deception, false beliefs, and the origins of the human mind
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DENIAL: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind
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Books in brief
It was not, the authors argue, a biological leap that set humanity apart from other species, but a psychological one: namely, the uniquely human ability to deny reality in the face of inarguable evidence-including the willful ignorance of our own inevitable deaths. The awareness of our own mortality could have caused anxieties that resulted in our avoiding the risks of competing to procreate-an evolutionary dead-end.
Humans therefore needed to evolve a mechanism for overcoming this hurdle: the denial of reality. As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change.
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Denial : self-deception, false beliefs, and the origins of the human mind
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