This notion is based on the following logic. In humans, awareness of the fact that one is acting deceptively often leads to tell-tale signs of deception. Therefore, if self-deception enables someone to believe their distortions, they will not present such signs of deception and will therefore appear to be telling the truth.
It may also be argued that the ability to deceive, or self-deceive, is not the selected trait but a by-product of a more primary trait that is selected. Abstract thinking allows many evolutionary advantages such as more flexible, adaptive behaviors and innovation. Since a lie is an abstraction, the mental process of creating a lie can only occur in animals with enough brain complexity to permit abstract thinking.
Fooling ourselves; self-deception in politics, religion, and terrorism.(Contributions in psychology)(Brief article)(Book review)
May 01, 2009; 9780313364389 Fooling ourselves; self-deception in politics, religion, and terrorism. Triandis, Harry C. Greenwood Press...