Every day I encounter at least one truly self-righteous person. The subject of his self-righteousness varies, but I meet at least one true zealot each day. One thing I find in common among these people is the intricate way in which they tend to bend reality to fit their beliefs and thereby support and justify their self-righteousness.
Well it turns out we all may be altering reality to some degree. According to results from a 1984 study by Quattrone and Tversky. After having participants dunk their arms in cold water for as long as they could stand it, they told half that people with healthy hearts can keep their arms in cold water longer after exercise and the other half was told the opposite. Sure enough, the half that thought longer was better kept their arms in cold water longer after a brief workout AND the half that thought shorter was better couldn’t keep their arms in cold water as long.
A small handful admitted to lying to the experimenters, but the majority really believed that their results were accurate. Why? Because that made them better people. Imagine how far this kind of self-deception can reach into our lives!
Because it’s self-deception, we usually find it much easier to see this error in others than to see it in ourselves. That’s why I keep good friends like Thom Horn in my life. He’ll never be afraid to tell me that I’m becoming delusional.