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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Better than average
- Bias blind spot
- Person perception
- Social cognitive development