Why We Drink and Drive
Question: Does an extreme of self-deception ever become mentally unhealthy?
Alfred Mele: So, if you deceive yourself into thinking that drinking and driving, or drinking over the legal limit and driving is okay, you can be in serious trouble. What happens to people, I think, is people know they shouldn’t drink over the legal limit and drive, and sometimes people will even decide, “I’ll never do it.” But then they drove to the bar and they had one more beer than they thought they would, and their car is there. And they’re thinking, “Well, if I don’t drive home, then I have to leave my car here, and then somehow I have to get it in the morning; take a taxi home and come on back and get it. That would be very inconvenient.” Then they think, “Well, you know, I’ve done this before and lots of people drive when they’re over the legal limit and I only live three or four miles from here, so I’ll make it safely. What the heck,” and they drive. And they might make it home safely that time, but then there are all these other times when they might do it again, and not. So, that kind of self-deception is dangerous.
Deceiving yourself into believing that you are significantly better than you are at dangerous things, well we’ll stick with driving, like race car driving, could be very dangerous. Or, deceiving yourself into thinking that smoking isn’t all that risky; you can keep up the habit. That’s dangerous too. There are lots of dangerous cases of self-deception.
Interviewed by Austin Allen
People often trick themselves into believing they are significantly more skilled in risky situations than they actually are.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.
- Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
- Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
- The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.