The Rational Side of Egocentrism in Social Comparisons
42 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2006
Date Written: September 1, 2006
Prior work has found that when people compare themselves with others they egocentrically focus on their own strengths and contributions and pay less attention to strengths and contributions of the comparison group. As a consequence, individuals tend to overestimate their comparative standing when absolute standing is high and underestimate their comparative standing when absolute standing is low. The present research investigated a rational interpretation of this bias namely, that people are egocentrically focused because they have more knowledge about themselves than about others. Support for this hypothesis was found in three studies, one concerning comparative judgments of responsibility and two others concerning confidence in competitions. These results suggest that there is a rational side to egocentrism in social comparisons.
Keywords: Social Comparison, Egocentrism, Judgment and Decision Making, Self-Assessment, Heuristics and Biases, Self-Enhancement, Unrealistic Optimism, Above-Average Effect, Overconfidence
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