Valuing thoughts, ignoring behavior: The introspection illusion as a source of the bias blind spot

Emily Pronin, Matthew B. Kugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


People see themselves as less susceptible to bias than others. We show that a source of this bias blind spot involves the value that people place, and believe they should place, on introspective information (relative to behavioral information) when assessing bias in themselves versus others. Participants considered introspective information more than behavioral information for assessing bias in themselves, but not others. This divergence did not arise simply from differences in introspective access. The blind spot persisted when observers had access to the introspections of the actor whose bias they judged. And, participants claimed that they, but not their peers, should rely on introspections when making self-assessments of bias. Only after being educated about the importance of nonconscious processes in guiding judgment and action-and thereby about the fallibility of introspection-did participants cease denying their relative susceptibility to bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-578
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Bias blind spot
  • Introspection illusion
  • Nonconscious influences
  • Self-other
  • Self-perception


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