Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Matthew P. Winslow

Department Affiliation



Self-Deception creates a mental state in which an individual unquestioningly maintains a belief that has clearly been refuted and proven faulty by some information which the self-deceiver has come to possess. However, aside from personality trait measures, no measurement techniques have been developed which capture the act of Self-Deception in a laboratory setting. In order to fill this need, the current research sought to examine the relationship between self-deception and cognitive dissonance, and used this relationship to create the Double Standards scale.

In the current research, participants completed several surveys online. They then came into the lab, where they were be randomly assigned to Affirmed and Deaffirmed conditions. It was found that asking participants to recall their past behaviors condom use caused those participants to significantly lower their estimation of the average person's likelihood to use condoms, but not to change their ratings of their own likelihood. It was also found that Affirmed participants did not lower their ratings of others as much as participants in the Deaffirmed condition. The implications for these findings are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons