Posts Tagged ‘Introspection’

From cocky and conflict ridden to conscious: Causes and implications of the bias blind spot

April 17th, 2017 No comments

“You are extremely average with extremely mediocre talent” my sister tells me every time she thinks I get overly confident and cocky. Why might she say this to me? In order to “plateau” me. “Plateauing,” as my sister would define it, involves dosing out a few insults in order to counteract the effects of excessively high self-esteem.

Or, as a cognitive psychologist might say, dosing out a few insults in order to counteract the self-enhancement bias (i.e. viewing yourself in a very positive way). My sister (as many siblings tend to do) easily recognizes when I act on the self-enhancement bias- and thank goodness she does! Why? Because I don’t.

Before you start feeling bad for me and the fact that I don’t have the ability to recognize my own biases, I’d like to introduce another type of bias, called the bias blind spot. The bias blind spot is the inability for people to recognize a bias in themselves, even if they can see it in others. Studies show that people of all ages and backgrounds are likely to notice biases in others, but do not notice biases in themselves (Pronin, 2007; Pronin & Kugler, 2007; West, Meserve, & Stanovich, 2012). So guess what? Research says that you too are susceptible to be blind to the effects biases play on your thoughts and actions. Not so cocky now, aren’t you? Read more…