Universal biases in self-perception: Better and more human than average

Steve Loughnan*, Bernhard Leidner, Guy Doron, Nick Haslam, Yoshihisa Kashima, Jennifer Tong, Victoria Yeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a well-established tendency for people to see themselves as better than average (self-enhancement), although the universality of this phenomenon is contested. Much less well-known is the tendency for people to see themselves as more human than average (self-humanizing). We examined these biases in six diverse nations: Australia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and the USA. Both biases were found in all nations. The self-humanizing effect was obtained independent of self-enhancement, and was stronger than self-enhancement in two nations (Germany and Japan). Self-humanizing was not specific to Western or English-speaking cultures and its magnitude was less cross-culturally variable than self-enhancement. Implications of these findings for research on the self and its biases are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-636
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • UNIQUELY HUMAN EMOTIONS
  • SECONDARY EMOTIONS
  • VEVEA 2005
  • ATTRIBUTION
  • ENHANCEMENT
  • DEHUMANIZATION
  • INFRAHUMANIZATION
  • INDIVIDUALISM
  • COLLECTIVISM
  • CONCLUSIONS

Cite this