When conducting a survey of a property about a damp problem, it is a constant source of amazement when a condensation problem is present that many occupants when challenged, very often deny that they ever do anything that adds to the water vapour levels within a property - even if it is obvious that they do. They deny drying clothes inside on radiators etc - They deny ever using the calor gas heater in the corner - They claim the heating is on all the time and the windows are always open yet condensation is running down the walls??? If this were all true then why is there a condensation problem?
One explanation may be that some householders have decided in their own mind what is causing the problem, often thinking it is rising damp. When confronted with other logical reasons and explanations, due to an understandable lack of knowledge the only safe retreat is denial. Perhaps it is similar to the person who is trying to loose weight - they claim to stick to diets - only eat lettuce and carrots - but do not loose any weight? Someone might not be telling the whole truth!
A psychologist's explanation why this occurs would be gratefully received.
The following extract was recently sent to me by a visitor to this site - it makes a lot of sense - thank you Adam:
Why are people so often in denial?
In the psychological sense, denial is a defence mechanism in which a person, faced with a painful fact, rejects the reality of that fact. They will insist that the fact is not true despite what may be overwhelming and irrefutable evidence.
There are three forms of denial. Simple denial is when the painful fact is denied altogether. Minimisational denial is when the painful fact is admitted but its seriousness is downplayed. Transference denial is when the painful fact is admitted, the seriousness also admitted, but one's moral responsibility in the situation involving the painful fact is downplayed.
When a person is in denial, they engage in distractive or escapist strategies to reduce stress and help them cope. The effect upon psychological well-being in doing this is unclear.
Psychiatric doctors state: "From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism..On the other hand, according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings."
Therein is the appeal of denial to humans. Denial allows someone to keep going unchanged despite reality. Denial is the path of psychological and moral least resistance.
While in denial about global warming, people don’t have to think about anything, inform themselves, change their consumption patterns, becoming actively involved in reforms, or alter their behaviour in any way. Politicians with transference denial can absolve themselves of any moral imperative to take the necessary policy initiatives that that scientists say are mandatory for our species to survive.
Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney