People, it is hypothesized, show an asymmetry in assessing their own interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge relative to that of their peers. Six studies suggested that people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers' knowledge of them. Several of the studies explored sources of this perceived asymmetry, especially the conviction that while observable behaviors (e.g., interpersonal revelations or idiosyncratic word completions) are more revealing of others than self, private thoughts and feelings are more revealing of self than others. Study 2 also found that college roommates believe they know themselves better than their peers know themselves. Study 6 showed that group members display a similar bias - they believe their groups know and understand relevant out-groups better than vice versa. The relevance of such illusions of asymmetric insight for interpersonal interaction and our understanding of "naive realism" is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science