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Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The author suggests that it is never going to be possible for any of us to eliminate self deception completely from our lives and that some forms of self deception can actually prove very productive for us. Many forms of self deception are ways in which we can deal with difficult situations.
A good example is having a bad day at work and rather than taking it out on family and friends you might go and play a fast and furious game of tennis. Now I know why when I am angry about a situation where it is going to be counter-productive to express that anger I take refuge in doing a lot of household chores very fast and with a great deal of energy! Sublimation can be useful.
There are many other forms of self deception and the author cites many interesting examples of where self deception has been used in public situations. I am a glass half full person and I was slightly annoyed to realise that this could be classed as self deception as I am always ignoring the bad things about any situation and focussing on the good things. I cheered up when I realised that the glass half empty people of my acquaintance are also guilty of self deception.
This is an interesting read for anyone who is interested in human being and how they behave and the reasons for that behaviour.
Dr. Burton organizes ego defenses into four basic categories: "abstraction," "transformation (or distortion)," "evasion," and "projection."
Abstraction includes denial, repression, anger, intellectualization, depression, and some others. Transformation recalls reaction formation (a term I haven't heard in years), minimization, etc. Evasion is about being vague or inauthentic, or maybe regressing or daydreaming, or telling jokes. Projection is basically tagging others with your own failures or shortcomings.
This all may sound somewhat abstract but Burton's straightforward and uncluttered prose makes this book a surprisingly easy read. Some of that is due to the vivid examples from history and literature that Burton provides to support his elaborate taxonomy.
I very much liked Burton's defense of depression especially in light of the overmedication we are getting from the psychiatric profession these days. Burton writes "The time and space and solitude that the adoption of the depressive position affords prevents us from making rash decisions...," allows us "to see the bigger picture" and "to reassess our social relationships..." (p. 60). I would add that seasonal depression at least may well be adaptive in that staying put (depressed persons typically don't want to do anything or go anywhere) when the weather is not good may help to avoid danger and prolong life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very readable, especially for a tricky topic! One of the few non-fiction books I've gotten through.Published 6 months ago by jaykayshay
Its an extraordinary book on Human emotions and ego defences. I think Neel Burton is a great author of our times. He has used excellent quotations to explain his thoughts . Read morePublished 9 months ago by Bharat Baid
Great book. Very clearly explains, why we do what we do..Published 14 months ago by Shekhar Bhusannavar
Dr. Burton's writing style is very accessible for both the psychology student and the volunteer counselor. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Tom Buratovich