Shankar Vedantam on why we lie to ourselves

Host of the Hidden Brain podcast, Shankar Vedantam discusses his new book about why we lie to ourselves and the risks and benefits of self-deception.

Listen 49:43
(photo credit, Douglas Sanders/NPR)

(photo credit, Douglas Sanders/NPR)

Sometimes, honesty isn’t the best policy. We all tell lots of little lies each day, to ourselves and to sustain the relationships around us with family, friends, and co-workers. SHANKAR VEDANTAM, host of the Hidden Brain, explains that self-deception is central to our survival as a species and is even built into our brains. In his book, Useful Delusions: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, co-authored with Bill Mesler, Vedantam lays out the social, psychological and biological role that lying to ourselves plays, how it has allowed the human race to flourish, and the problems that can occur when the impulse runs amok.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal