Sometimes we want to believe something so badly that we convince ourselves that it is true.

Is there a term for this?



? self-delusion,

"A clear case of self-delusion... "He was suffering from self-delusion, he knew, but...

"He knew he was deluding himself, but he headed for the meeting any way."


You can be said to be deluding yourself

verb (used with object), deluded, deluding.

  1. to mislead the mind or judgment of; deceive: His conceit deluded him into believing he was important.



If you're looking for a more technical term, cognitive dissonance could work. It's a psychological term for when people hold two conflicting beliefs (such as when they learn something that contradicts what they believe to be true) and must attempt to reconcile them.

One method of doing this, the belief disconfirmation paradigm, involves "misperception, rejection or refutation of the [new] information" (Wikipedia). In other words, people choose to keep believing what they initially believed, even in the face of evidence that their initial belief is wrong.

A similar concept is choice-supportive bias, which causes people to focus only on the positive aspects of something they have chosen, while ignoring any negative aspects of it. This helps reconcile any cognitive dissonance brought about by the conflicting beliefs "I chose X because I want it" and "X has undesirable qualities."



“attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate.”

‘she couldn't rationalize her urge to return to the cottage’

[Oxford Living Dictionaries]

  • Hi Kev, welcome to EL&U. If you quote someone else's words, it's essential that you acknowledge the source. It's not only polite to give the original author credit, it also avoids the more serious charge of plagiarism. As it's your first post, I've edited it to add the source and a link, and I've added an example from the same source. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Says SE Dudded Monica Dec 28 '18 at 10:40

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