Visual experience in self and social judgment: How a biased majority claim a superior minority

Emily Balcetis, Stephanie A. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

People form beliefs of their own superiority relative to others to degrees that are implausible and statistically impossible. Is this the result of error in self or social judgment? We review evidence suggesting that people are more inaccurate when forecasting their own future prospects than when forecasting others. Moreover, we argue that such error when acting as a self rather than social psychologist is in part the result of biased visual experience. People orient visual attention and resolve visual ambiguity in ways that support self-interests. Because visual experience serves as one of the foundational stages of information processing, bias that emerges as people look at the world around them may propagate biased cognitive judgment without individuals’ awareness of the presence or source of such bias. Motivated cognition may in part be the result of motivated perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-377
Number of pages15
JournalSelf and Identity
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • Motivated cognition
  • ambiguity
  • attention
  • self and social judgment
  • social perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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