Self-Deception May Be the Secret to Becoming President
The ability to believe your own lies may be the secret to successful deception, a new study suggests.
New research suggests that politicians make good liars because they find a way to convince themselves that they are telling the truth.
Researchers said that world leaders have been guilty of both blatant lies and honest mistakes.
Using the case of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, researchers believe that politicians might have fooled themselves into believing it because they wanted to believe that Iraq had them, according to the Daily Mail.
Researchers cite other examples like President Bill Clinton lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky and President Richard Nixon claiming his innocence over Watergate.
Political professor Dr Anna Galeotti of the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy, told the journal Political Studies that she believes that everyone has their own in-built lie detector. However, it's easier to identify someone who is lying deliberately than someone who is lying without realizing it.
She explained that this is how politicians lie convincingly. Galeotti said that politicians have the ability to lie convincingly because they are convinced that they are telling he truth, despite evidence of their dishonesty.
"Self-deception is a type of motivated irrationality - the art of believing something simply because it is desired to be true when evidence points to the very opposite," said Galeotti, according to the Daily Mail.
'The more convinced is a political leader, the more convincing he or she appears.
"A charismatic leader is persuasive in proportion to his convictions and faith; a cynical, self-interested liar is more easily detected and can hardly become a charismatic leader," she added.
She believes that the most successful politicians may be those who have the most developed the ability to deceive themselves and to believe their own lies.
"In order to sustain deception over time, one needs to be very alert, clever and consistent," Galeotti explained.
"Some evolutionary psychologists maintain that humans have evolved sophisticated abilities of lie detector in order to counter the possibility of others' deception; hence the most efficient way of deceiving others is to believe one's lies," she concluded.