Objectivity in the eye of the beholder: Divergent perceptions of bias in self versus others

Emily Pronin, Thomas Gilovich, Lee Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

392 Scopus citations

Abstract

Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people's actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one's own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more susceptible to a host of cognitive and motivational biases. Although this blind spot regarding one's own biases may serve familiar self-enhancement motives, it is also a product of the phenomenological stance of naive realism. It is exacerbated, furthermore, by people's tendency to attach greater credence to their own introspections about potential influences on judgment and behavior than they attach to similar introspections by others. The authors review evidence, new and old, of this asymmetry and its underlying causes and discuss its relation to other psychological phenomena and to interpersonal and intergroup conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-799
Number of pages19
JournalPsychological Review
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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