In a recent essay in New Scientist, the psychologist Dorothy Rowe explained that none of us can see reality. We have to construct it from our interpretation of what we perceive, tempered by experience. As a result, each of us exists in our own world of meaning, constantly at risk of being shattered by inconvenient facts. If we acknowledge them, they can destroy our sense of self.
So, to ensure that we won’t be “overwhelmed by the uncertainty inherent in living in a world we can never truly know,” we shut them out by lying to ourselves.