Valuing thoughts, ignoring behavior: The introspection illusion as a source of the bias blind spot

Emily Pronin*, Matthew B. Kugler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Scopus citations

Abstract

People see themselves as less susceptible to bias than others. We show that a source of this bias blind spot involves the value that people place, and believe they should place, on introspective information (relative to behavioral information) when assessing bias in themselves versus others. Participants considered introspective information more than behavioral information for assessing bias in themselves, but not others. This divergence did not arise simply from differences in introspective access. The blind spot persisted when observers had access to the introspections of the actor whose bias they judged. And, participants claimed that they, but not their peers, should rely on introspections when making self-assessments of bias. Only after being educated about the importance of nonconscious processes in guiding judgment and action-and thereby about the fallibility of introspection-did participants cease denying their relative susceptibility to bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-578
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

Keywords

  • Bias blind spot
  • Introspection illusion
  • Nonconscious influences
  • Self-other
  • Self-perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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