Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject Psychology - Social Psychology, grade: 1,0, University of Cologne, course: Wirtschafts- und Sozialpsychologie, language: English, abstract: Those who are interested in soccer certainly know it: the Wembley goal from 1966 and the debate about whether it was a goal or it was not. While the English fans (for whom the goal would have gained the lead) certainly perceived it as a goal, the Germans believed the ball had not crossed their goal line. And both groups were sure they are right - a perfect example for motivated reasoning! The term motivated-reasoning refers to a kind of self-regulation that enables people to believe in favorable things, although there is some severe evidence to disprove those beliefs. Motivated-reasoning is closely linked to terms like 'wishful thinking' and 'denial' and might lead to 'unrealistic optimism' or 'self-deception'. It especially occurs in situations that threaten one´s self-concept or previously held expectation of one´s future. Imagine for example, somebody is fired from a job, although that person believes him or herself to be an intelligent and capable employee. Or a man who believes he is happily married, but then his wife comes home smelling of someone else's after-shave. Both persons are potential victims for motivated-reasoning because motivated-reasoning enables them to keep their positive beliefs. The fired person - imagine she is a woman - might, for example, consider she was fired because the boss was sexist. And the cheated husband might convince himself that the smell of cologne is the result of his wife standing very close to another man on the tram. Motivated-reasoning is a widespread phenomenon. People have the ability - and often also the opportunity - to see a glass as being half full or half empty. But how exactly does motivated-reasoning function? How can one betray oneself? Are people aware of deceiving themselves and how far can they go in doing so? What kinds of motivation drive them? And perhaps most importantly, is it or is it not useful that people are able to see what they want to see? The current text will give answers to all those questions.