The Costs and Benefits of Undoing Egocentric Responsibility Assessments in Groups

61 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2005

See all articles by Eugene M. Caruso

Eugene M. Caruso

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Nicholas Epley

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Max H. Bazerman

Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

Individuals working in groups often egocentrically believe they have contributed more of the total work than is logically possible. Actively considering others' contributions effectively reduces these egocentric assessments, but this research suggests that undoing egocentric biases in groups may have some unexpected costs. Five experiments demonstrate that considering others' contributions effectively reduces egocentric responsibility allocations, but that it also reduces satisfaction and interest in future collaborations among those who contributed (or believed they contributed) more than other group members. This was especially true in cooperative groups. Egocentric biases in responsibility allocation can create conflict, but this research suggests that undoing them can make matters worse. Some members who look beyond their own perspective may not like what they see.

Keywords: Judgment and Decision Making, Egocentrism, Perspective Taking, Group Satisfaction, Heuristics, Biases

Suggested Citation

Caruso, Eugene M. and Epley, Nicholas and Bazerman, Max H., The Costs and Benefits of Undoing Egocentric Responsibility Assessments in Groups (June 2005). Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 05-035, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=738666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.738666

Eugene M. Caruso (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Nicholas Epley

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Max H. Bazerman

Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6429 (Phone)
617-496-4191 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mbazerman

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