The Effect of Negative Feedback on Positive Beliefs in Self-Deception.

Research paper by Juan J Liu, Wenjie W Zhang, Youlong Y Zhan, Lixin L Song, Peipei P Guan, Dan D Kang, Jie J Jian, Ronghua R Cai, Mei M Li

Indexed on: 28 Apr '19Published on: 27 Apr '19Published in: Frontiers in psychology


In the present study, we applied the forward-looking paradigm to examine how positive beliefs appear in self-deception and to further reveal the influence of negative feedback on positive beliefs to decrease self-deception. In Experiment 1, the answer group (with answer hints provided below the test material) and the control group (without answer hints) completed two tests. Participants estimated their Test 1 scores, predicted their performance on the upcoming Test 2 without answer hints, and completed Test 2. Their actual scores on the two tests were recorded. The results showed that the answer group predicted higher Test 2 scores than the control group, but the two groups did not differ in their actual scores. These results showed that the answer group had positive self-deception. In Experiment 2, the two groups were given negative feedback (vs. no feedback) after Test 1, and the changes between their estimated scores on Test 1 and their predicted score and actual score on Test 2 were measured. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the estimated scores and the predicted score between the two groups under the feedback condition compared with the negative feedback condition. These findings demonstrated that the effectiveness of the forward-looking paradigm can activate participants' positive beliefs and cheat behaviors by providing the answers to induce self-deception, and negative feedback can decrease the occurrence of self-deception by reducing the positive beliefs of individuals and improving self-awareness to prevent or eliminate the negative impact of self-deception.