Maybe once every 6 - 24 months, S1 tells a lie on my behalf. I'd like a lot more control over this bad habit S1 has.

Some context/first person phenomenology: personally, I experience most of the speech I utter as "system one like". It's fluent and automatic. Sometimes I can even do a certain mental move where "I" am able to watch the speech flow through me and out my mouth. Sometime I speak much more with S2 in the loop, and that's very qualitatively different: when I need more precision over my meanings, it's slower and more resource intensive and "I" am much more in the loop.

The lies that particularly bother me tend to be elicited when I get a query that's unexpected and somehow has some personal shame attached to it, or a sense that the answer might be upsetting to the person I'm talking to. These lies flow out just as a part of S1 producing speech utterances and reaching for the most immediately local way to solve a problem.

I legitimately don't have many things in my life that have a lot of shame attached to them, and the unexpected nature of the query is an integral part of what's happening -- if S2 has a chance to intervene, it's a different kettle of fish.

How does one work on these kinds of extremely rare S1 reflexes?

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I do the same thing. I think working to make myself more comfortable with vulnerability helped. Being vulnerable and honest is a great romantic strategy, which I suspect may have given it sticking power with me, both conscious and unconscious.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who foot-mouths like this. I agree that a certain kind of global-integrity of character makes it much easier to just not find oneself in this situation. I'd like to think I S1 lie much much less frequently than I used to.

I guess the thing to do would be to correct yourself right away, apologize to the person you told the lie to and tell the truth. Of course that will be embarrassing, but if you let S1 get away with lying, it will get rewarded for doing it and it won't stop.

Yes, I agree this is a good policy to try and pre-commit to. In the past ~five years I can think of three times when S1 lied. Once I "rolled it back" fairly quickly, but I think even then it was several minutes worth of sitting with my discomfort before I was able to make that heavy lift. This policy feels equivalent to me of saying "try harder" -- it's not actually clear to me what the mental moves involved in following it is, nor how I can provision the mental resources needed ahead of time in order to be able to carry those moves out when needed to, une... (read more)

S1 shouldn't have the authority to speak for you. To the extent this norm is established, it helps with all sorts of situations where S1 is less than graceful (perhaps it misrepresents your attitude, there are many mistakes other than unintended lying). Unfortunately this is not a common norm, so only starts working with sufficiently close acquaintances. And needs S2 that fuels the norm by dressing down S1 in public when appropriate, doesn't refuse to comment, and upholds the reputation of not making S1 a scapegoat.

In high pressure situation it seems to me like S1 gets active whether or not one gives it authority.

What do you mean with "dressing down S1 in public when appropriate"?

I don't mean that S1 doesn't speak. It speaks a lot, like a talkative relative at a party, but it shouldn't be normative that its words are your words. You can disagree with its words, and it should be reasonable to hear you out when you do. You can demonstrate this distinction by allowing some of these disagreements to occur out loud in public. ("I just realized that I said X a few minutes ago. Actually I don't endorse that statement. Funny thing, I changed my mind about this a few years back, but I still occasionally parrot this more popular claim.")
1Randomized, Controlled1y
I actually think it's much worse than this. I'd guess at least 90% (maybe much higher) motor control is directly or heavily mediated by S1. Speech is a motor act. Given the limited bandwidth of consciousness/S2, it's just not tractable to have S2 in the loop much. As I said in the OP, after doing enough meditation, I was able to observe this in myself, in realtime occasionally: sometime I can sit back and just watch myself talk without really feeling like "I" am in the loop. I'm actually doing a similar move right now, watching myself write this text -- some part of me is at a distance, dispassionate, aware, but not "executing" much of anything.

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