In common parlance, self-deception is the act of lying to oneself. When more rigorous definitions are attempted, this straightforward notion quickly becomes complex, if not impossibly paradoxical. Especially problematic is the assumption that self-deception is analogous to deceiving others. These difficulties have undermined the feasibility of operationalizing the concept and conducting research. Despite this checkered history, the possibility of confirming the existence self-deception remains so seductive that we enter the fray one more time.
Paulhus, D. L., & Buckels, E. (2012). Classic self-deception revisited. In S. Vazire & T. D. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook of self-knowledge (p. 363–378). The Guilford Press.