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What is the above average effect?
- Also known as illusory superiority
- A cognitive bias whereby individuals overestimate their own qualities and abilities, relative to others
- US college board (1976)-asked people to rate themselves on characteristics as above or below average
- 70% of people rated themselves as having above average leadership qualities
- Stevenson (1981) surveyed Swedish and US student drivers
- 93% of US and 69% of Swedish put themselves in the top 50% for driving skills
- Wilson & Ross (2001)
- P's rated themselves and an acquaintance at 2 points in time
- Rated themselves as significantly better than previously but not for their friends
What is a self serving bias?
- Any cognitive or perceptual process that is distorted by the need to maintain and enhance self-esteem. When individuals reject the validity of negative feedback, focus on their strengths and achievements but overlook their faults and failures
- 'I did badly because of other factors but I did well because I'm awesome'
- Means we disassociate ourselves with the negative aspects of our lives (Weiner 1985)
- See also: self handicapping (social psychology)
What is naive realism?
- Bias that assumes our actions are correct
- False consensus: overestimate how many people share your opinion or how many people do the bad things you do
- False uniqueness: underestimate the commonality of our positive traits (I'm uncommonly good at this)
Who investigated naïve realism?
- Ross et al (1977)
- P's asked to wear sandwich board and humiliating costume
- Asked what they thought of the others if they agreed and vice versa
- People who agreed said the others were scared of embarrassment and weak
- People who refused said people who agreed were show-offs
- Whatever you choose is the right choice
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