Social Perception of Self-Enhancement Bias and Error

Published on Oct 4, 2016in Social Psychology
· DOI :10.1027/1864-9335/A000287
Patrick R. Heck7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Brown University),
Joachim I. Krueger51
Estimated H-index: 51
(Brown University)
Abstract. How do social observers perceive and judge individuals who self-enhance (vs. not)? Using a decision-theoretic framework, we distinguish between self-enhancement bias and error, where the former comprises both correct and incorrect self-perceptions of being better than average. The latter occurs when a claim to be better than others is found to be false. In two studies, we find that when judging people’s competence, observers are sensitive to the accuracy of self-perception. When judging their morality, however, they tend to respond negatively to any claims of being better than average. These findings are further modulated by the domain of performance (intelligence vs. moral aptitude). Implications for the strategic use of self-enhancement claims are discussed.
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