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1 Positive Illusions Part 1. 2 The Better-Than-Average Effect Tendency for people to rate themselves higher than the average peer on positive traits and.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Positive Illusions Part 1. 2 The Better-Than-Average Effect Tendency for people to rate themselves higher than the average peer on positive traits and."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Positive Illusions Part 1

2 2 The Better-Than-Average Effect Tendency for people to rate themselves higher than the average peer on positive traits and lower than the average peer on negative traits.

3 3 Desirability, Control and the BTA Effect Alicke (1985) Created list of 154 trait adjectives, which were normed for desirability and controllability. Participants rated self and average student on each trait.

4 4 Example trait words (Alicke, 1985) High control Low control High desirability Cooperative Considerate Responsible CreativeBrightImaginative Moderate-high desirability NeatBoldSelf-SatisfiedReservedCunningFearless Moderate-low desirability TroubledBoastfulUnpoisedForgetfulUnculturedDiscontented Low desirability UnforgivingDisobedientDeceptiveInsecureBelligerentHumorless

5 5 Results

6 6

7 7 Predicting Future Events Weinstein (1980): P’s rated the relative likelihood of 42 events happening to them. P’s also rated each trait for probability, controllability, desirability, personal experience, and salience of a high chance group.

8 8 Results (Weinstein, 1980) Evidence for unrealistic optimism (aka optimistic bias, comparative optimism). For positive events, predictions were positively related to desirability and probability. For negative events, predictions were positively related to personal experience, but negatively related to controllability and stereotype salience.

9 9 Moderators of the BTA effect (Alicke & Govorun, 2005) Direct vs. indirect method Nature of judgment dimension Comparison target Individual differences

10 10 Nature of the Judgment Dimension Dunning et al. (1989): %ile ratings on the following traits. PositiveNegative High ambiguity Sensitive, quick, sophisticated, idealistic, disciplined, sensible, ingenious. Neurotic, naïve inconsistent, impractical, submissive, compulsive, insecure. Low ambiguity Neat, well read, mathematical, thrifty, athletic, studious, punctual. Sarcastic, wordy, sloppy, clumsy, gullible, gossipy, bragging.

11 11 Results (Dunning et al., 1989)

12 12 Comparison Target Alicke et al. (1995): Participants rate themselves (on a list of 40 trait words) relative to the average student or the student sitting next to them in the room. BTA effect occurred on almost all traits in both conditions. But, the BTA effect was stronger in the average student condition.

13 13 Explaining the BTA effect Selective recruitment. Egocentrism.Focalism. Self vs. Aggregate comparison. BTA heuristic.

14 14 Egocentrism in Comparative Evaluation Kruger (1999) Self, average peer, and percentile ratings of: Using a computer mouse Driving Riding a bicycle Saving money Telling jokes Playing chess Juggling Computer programming

15 15 Egocentrism in Comparative Evaluation Kruger (1999) AbilityDifficulty%ile Using mouse ** Driving ** Riding a bicycle ** Saving money ** Telling jokes Playing chess ** Juggling ** PC programming ** *p<.05, **p<.01

16 16 Egocentrism in Comparative Evaluation Kruger (1999) Judgmental weight of AbilityDifficulty%ileself-rating other-rating Using mouse ** Driving **.89**-.25* Riding a bicycle **.61**-.02 Saving money **.90**-.25** Telling jokes **-.03 Playing chess **.96**-.22** Juggling **.89**-.16 PC programming **.85**-.10 *p<.05, **p<.01

17 17 Egocentrism vs. Focalism (Moore & Kim, 2003) IV: Easy vs. difficult trivia quiz. DV: $ bet (up to $3) on beating a randomly selected other participant. Result: Participants in the easy condition bet significantly more (M = $1.95) than did those in the difficult condition (M = $1.29).

18 18 Moore & Kim (2003)


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