Overconfidence can be quite costly in certain situations. If a people does not possess certain abilities, but still thinks that he can take upon himself a certain task, it is quite likely that he will mess it up. However, self-deceived people tend to have others thinking highly of them.
As the common saying goes, tell a lie a certain number of times, and, it will be passed off as truth. If you want the lie to be easily believed and spread, believe in it yourself. A new study seems to be pointing at just this. It suggests that self-deception is the way to go to deceive others. Intrigued? Let us find more.
Those individuals who tend to be overconfident, and, as a result self-deceived into thinking that they are better than what they really are, are perceived as such by others as well. Their belief of their abilities being more enhanced than they really are seems to pervade others’ minds as well.
The research examined the responses of 72 students in a class. The latter were asked to rate their own ability together with the ability of others of the class. Those students who were overconfident and overrated themselves were also given higher scores by their peers. Those who fell under the category of “under confident” students yielded results which went along similar lines: others perceive them as being less able than their overconfident counterparts.
The researchers have therefore suggested that self-deceiving people might attain higher positions in companies than those colleagues of theirs who do not cling onto such beliefs, since while they self-deceive themselves into thinking they are better, and others in their environment have the same perception of them too, such that the really deserving one might not be rewarded as a consequence.
Furthermore, the self-deceiving people seem to have the tendency of taking greater risks, such that this could negatively impact on the companies they work for. If someone does not have a certain level of competence, but he allows himself to think that he does, leading to others thinking the same thing as well, he might pretty much mess up situations if given certain responsibilities. The researchers even went so far as saying that monumental disasters like airplane crashes and financial collapses might be caused by these reasons.