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The False Comparison Effect

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Introduction

The False Comparison Effect Introduction This study deals with the way people perceive themselves and how they rate their positive attributes in comparison to others, thus dealing with the social thinking sphere of Social Psychology. To be more precise, the study involves personal behavior and attitudes: More specifically, it deals with the False Comparison Effect. The False Comparison Effect is when we compare ourselves to others to our advantage. We tend to highlight our strengths in ability, opinions, and actions, while in general, we do not make our flaws stand out; we present them as being in the norms (Feldman, 1995). Everyone tries to be above or within the norms, so if one is not within those norms he or she will be considered differently and may receive negative judgments. Is it really that bad to have strengths and weaknesses? As we will see, the people who do admit their weakness are not very well perceived by their peers compared to the people who have the same weakness but do not admit them. ...read more.

Middle

It is because of the False Consensus Effect that people focus on, emphasize and evaluate negative behaviors in one who acts differently from them. Despite the fact that most people want to be normal in relation to their environment, they also want to be different. This is why the false consensus effect is not fully reliable. When people think of their own positive outcomes, they will evaluate themselves as being superior compared to others (Feldman, 1995). They see themselves as having particularly unique qualities. This phenomenon is called the False Uniqueness Effect (Feldman, 1995). Purpose: The purpose of this report is to analyze how people perceive themselves in relation to others, to discover if the perceptions they have of themselves are their real characteristics, or if they are desired characteristics. This examination will help us to understand why people tend to over-estimate themselves or others who feel and act as they do. Throughout this study, we are also asked to use and understand the scientific method. ...read more.

Conclusion

The self-evaluation scale is given to four different social psychology classes of different years. The subjects from Champlain St.Lawrence College are asked to rank themselves from one to nine according to their own perspective. With the collected data, the averages for the different trait descriptions are determined for each group. This means that each of the sixteen trait descriptions will have four different averages for each winter semester that data was gathered. Results: The results indicate that in general, people present themselves in a favorable way. For all socially desired traits the average for all groups is above a ranking of five. Discussion: The hypothesis is confirmed. Since the subjects have to identify to a trait description that is socially desirable, they evaluate themselves to their advantage. Even though the four experimental groups did not contain the same number of subjects and the years in which the data was collected are dispersed, the results remain high and all above a ranking of five. With this study, we observe significantly that most people present themselves in a favorable way, which underlines the influence of the False Uniqueness Effect. ...read more.

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