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The Academic Games Leagues of America (AGLOA) outlines several techniques of self-deception as follows:

  1. Prejudice
    • You prejudge before you really learn about a person or group. You often prejudge based on indoctrination, conditioning or some prior experience which could be pleasant or unpleasant. The person who is prejudiced has strong and deep emotional reasons why he or she prejudges.
  2. Academic Detachment
    • When a decision needs to be made, as in a voting situation for example, you give an argument for both sides of an issue but won't commit one way or the other. You refuse to make a commitment or decision when action is demanded.
  3. Drawing the Line
    • You make a sharp distinction or division where it is inappropriate to draw sharp distinctions.
    • You view things as either Black or White even though the issue isn't that clear cut.
  4. Not Drawing the Line
    • You don't stop at your preset limits; you are always just doing "a little more."You ask "what's the big deal if I have one more."
    • Your over indulgence is acceptable as long as it's just a small over indulgence.
  5. Conservatism, Radicalism, Moderatism
    • You are Conservative if you ALWAYS prefer what is old and familiar, simply because it is old and familiar.
    • You are Radical if you ALWAYS prefer the new and revolutionary, just because of its newness.
    • You are Moderate if you ALWAYS choose the middle of the road or compromise ground; if you always avoid the two extremes.
  6. Rationalization
    • After something happens, you try to think up a good reason why you did what you did.
    • Most of the time, you know that your reasons are not very creditable or even believable.
  7. Wishful Thinking
    • You want something (in the future) to be true or correct simply because you want it to be so.
  8. Tabloid Thinking
    • You prefer quick summaries and like to "put things in a nutshell." You stereotype people or issues with simple phrases. You have no deep-set emotions toward those people or issues; you just like to describe them with catchy phrases.
  9. Causal Oversimplication
    • You explain a complex event or issue by saying it has only one cause, when MANY causes are really responsible. You are simplifying the cause of an event, not the event itself.
  10. Inconceivability


  1. Academic Games Leagues of America, Promoting Excellence Through Academic Competition, Propaganda Definitions, Section A, You Can Fool Yourself, Techniques of Self-Deception [1]