Recently, there has been a renewal of interest in the broad and loosely bounded range of phenomena called deception and self-deception. This volume addresses this interest shared by philosophers, social and clinical psychologists, and more recently, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. Expert contributors provide timely, reliable, and insightful coverage of the normal range of errors in perception, memory, and behavior. They place these phenomena on a continuum with various syndromes and neuropsychiatric diseases where falsehood in perception, self-perception, cognition, and behaviors are a peculiar sign. Leading authorities examine the various forms of "mythomania," deception, and self-deception ranging from the mundane to the bizarre such as imposture, confabulations, minimization of symptomatology, denial, and anosognosia. Although the many diverse phenomena discussed here share a family resemblance, they are unlikely to have a common neurological machinery. In order to reach an explanation for these phenomena, a reliable pattern of lawful behavior must be delineated. It would then be possible to develop reasonable explanations based upon the underlying neurobiological processes that give rise to deficiencies designated as the mythomanias. The chapters herein begin to provide an outline of such a development. Taken as a whole, the collection is consistent with the emerging gospel indicating that neither the machinery of "nature" nor the forces of "nurture" taken alone are capable of explaining what makes cognition and behaviors aberrant.
"A creative and erudite neuropsychologist, Michael Myslobodsky has edited a fascinating and often provocative book on deception. The Mythomanias covers the full range of deception, from bizarre neuropsychiatric syndromes, such as Munschausen's, to ordinary and extra-ordinary acts of self-deception, as in recovery of false memories, to deception on a large, social scale. The contributors to the volume, all recognized in their field, are as intellectually diverse as the topics they cover, which often makes for adventurous and enchanting reading. At the same time, the collection retains a strong, thematic coherence and a scholarly rigor in keeping with the reputation of its editor and contributors. The volume succeeds admirably as a comprehensive and stimulating guide (perhaps the only one) to the role of deception in the organization of memory, self and society and the clues it provides about their nature. I recommend it highly."
Erindale College, University of Toronto, and Rotman Research Institute of Baycre
"The Mythomanias provides a fascinating smorgasbord of denials, misrememberings, impostors, false memory syndromes, phantom limbs, illusions, confabulations--indeed, all aspects of deception. It nicely ties together disparate research threads from psychology, psychiatry, and neurology so that readers can see the antecedents that underlie all deception. This book should be of interest to anyone who has ever deceived oneself or another."
—E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
Author of "Surviving Schizophrenia" National Institute of Mental Health, Neur
Contents: I. Maltzman, Foreword. M.S. Myslobodsky, Living Behind a Facade: Notes on the Agenda. J. Agassi, Self-Deception: A View From the Rationalist Perspective. A.G. Greenwald, Self-Knowledge and Self-Deception: Further Consideration. D. Zakay, J. Bentwich, The Tricks and Traps of Perceptual Illusions. Y. Trope, B. Gervey, N. Liberman, Wishful Thinking From a Pragmatic Hypothesis-Testing Perspective. M.K. Johnson, Identifying the Origin of Mental Experience. M. Ross, T.K. MacDonald, How Can We Be Sure? Using Truth Criteria to Validate Memories. A. Rechtshaffen, The Single-Mindedness and Isolation of Dreams. H. Ben-Zur, S. Breznitz, Denial, Anxiety, and Information Processing. L.A. Wells, Imposture Syndromes: A Clinical View. I. Nachson, Neuropsychology of Self-Deception: The Case of Prosopagnosia. L. Hicks, M.S. Myslobodsky, Mnemopoesis: Memories That Wish Themselves to Be Recalled? M. Devor, Phantom Limb Phenomena and Their Neural Mechanism. M.S. Myslobodsky, Awareness Salvaged by Cunning: Rehabilitation by Deception in Audiovisual Neglect.