On the Genesis of Inflated (and Deflated) Judgments of Responsibility: Egocentrism Revisited
41 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2006
Date Written: September 1, 2006
Prior research has found that people tend to overestimate their relative contributions to joint tasks (e.g., Ross & Sicoly, 1979). In the present research we investigate one of the causes of this bias, and in doing so, identify an important moderator of the effect. In three studies we demonstrate that when people estimate their relative contributions to collective endeavors they focus on their own contributions and give less consideration to the contributions of their collaborators. This can cause overestimation of relative contributions when absolute contributions are numerous, but underestimation of relative contributions when absolute contributions are few. These results extend Ross & Sicoly's (1979) original egocentrism analysis of bias in responsibility attributions, but also suggest that the tendency to overestimate one's relative contributions to collaborations is not as ubiquitous as once thought.
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