Within Psychiatry and psychology, Double Bookkeeping, also known as Double Entry Bookkeeping is not quite the same as double entry bookkeeping within accountancy. Within Psychiatry and Psychology, it refers to the tendency, among those who experience delusions, to perceive both the reality and the delusions as being real. There are discrepancies or inconsistencies between the two within psychiatry which the affected person may not be bothered about, whereas within accountancy, the two entries made in different parts of accounts records are there to reconcile the records and ensure there are no discrepancies or inconsistencies.
Example Accountancy Double Bookkeeping
The main accounts ledger may have a record of a transaction paying $100.00 towards a dept to Debt and Renters Ltd.
Meanwhile another entry will be made in the debts record for Debt and Renters Ltd. stating that on the same date in the main ledger, \$100.00 has been taken off the debt, with the running balance remaining being $100.00 less than previous.
All records reconcile, showing no discrepancies or inconsistencies.
In psychiatry and psychology
Swiss psychiatrist and eugenicist, Eugen Bleuler in Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias (his 1911 seminal study, translated from German into English in 1950 by Joseph Zinkin) said on pages 56:
It is especially important to know that these patients carry on a kind of “double-entry bookkeeping” in many of their relationships. They know the real state of affairs as well as the falsified one and will answer according to the circumstances with one kind or the other type of orientation—or both together. This last is especially frequent in mis(-)recognizing people: the physician “is now here as Dr. N.,” at other times he becomes the former lover.
With this, "Dr. N." is both a former lover and their physician whilst in reality, Dr. N. was never their lover. Without the ability to carry out reality checking efficiently, they can refer to either or both as being true.
In accounts ledgers terms there are two entries in the person's main record within the mind recording the facts concerning Dr. N. without a strong second record to refer to regarding the person's past lovers.
Jeneen Interlandi, wrote in The New York Times Magazine (2012)
While we waited for the doctor to evaluate him, my father did what mental health professionals refer to as double-bookkeeping. He remembered most of what transpired earlier in the day but still believed he was in the hospital to have his pacemaker checked.
Bleuler, E. (1950). Dementia praecox or the group of schizophrenias. Oxford, England: International Universities Press.
Interlandi, J. (2012). When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind - New York Times Magazine
Accessible from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/magazine/when-my-crazy-father-actually-lost-his-mind.html
Bortolotti, L., & Broome, M. R. (2012). Affective dimensions of the phenomenon of double bookkeeping in delusions. Emotion Review, 4(2), 187-191.
Carruthers, B. G., & Espeland, W. N. (1991). Accounting for rationality: Double-entry bookkeeping and the rhetoric of economic rationality. American journal of sociology, 97(1), 31-69.