Self-deception and the 'Conspiracy of Optimism'

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The tendency to perceive our current and future actions and performance in an overly positive light is a form of self-deception common in human behaviour, including military history. That we tend to rate ourselves as “better than average” is a well-researched phenomenon. Human inclinations toward overly optimistic judgments about the future, inflating potential benefits and downplaying risks, are also well–recognized. Positive illusions about our own performance and about the future are arguably important for physical and mental health, but cause problems when they diverge too far from reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalWar on the Rocks
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


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