The bias blind spot across childhood

Sara Hagá, Kristina R. Olson, Leonel Garcia-Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The bias blind spot (BBS) is the tendency for people to perceive themselves as less biased than others. This tendency resembles a self-enhancement effect, but research has mainly focused on other mechanisms that purportedly underlie the BBS. In this article we present developmental evidence that the BBS and a self-enhancing tendency, namely the better-than-average effect, develop independently (Studies 1 and 2). Children aged 5 to 12 years old do not believe they are biased (despite evidence that they are). However, while younger children tend to believe others are unbiased, older children believe others are biased (Studies 2 and 3). Importantly, younger children understand that unbiased behavior is better than biased behavior (Study 4). Together, these results converge with the notion that the BBS is not a mere instance of a self-enhancing tendency and suggest that the BBS is the residual part of a bigger illusion that everyone is unbiased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-708
Number of pages38
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • Better than average
  • Bias
  • Bias blind spot
  • Person perception
  • Social cognitive development


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