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People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the(More)
Like the inhabitants of Garrison Keillor's (1985) fictional community of Lake Wobegon, most people appear to believe that their skills and abilities are above average. A series of studies illustrates one of the reasons why: when people compare themselves with their peers, they focus egocentrically on their own skills and insufficiently take into account the(More)
Six experiments investigated people's optimism in competitions. The studies involved hypothetical and real competitions (course grades in Experiments 1 and 2, a trivia game in Experiments 3-5, and a poker game in Experiment 6) in which the presence of shared adversities and benefits (factors that would generally hinder or help the absolute performance of(More)
When individuals choose future activities on the basis of their past experiences, what guides those choices? The present study compared students' predicted, on-line, and remembered spring-break experiences, as well as the influence of these factors on students' desire to take a similar vacation in the future. Predicted and remembered experiences were both(More)
People, it is hypothesized, show an asymmetry in assessing their own interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge relative to that of their peers. Six studies suggested that people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers' knowledge of them. Several of the studies explored sources of this perceived asymmetry, especially the conviction(More)
People tend to overestimate their comparative likelihood of experiencing a rosy future. The present research suggests that one reason for this error is that when people compare their likelihood of experiencing an event with that of the average person, they focus on their own chances of experiencing the event and insufficiently consider the likelihood of the(More)
Without the benefit of paralinguistic cues such as gesture, emphasis, and intonation, it can be difficult to convey emotion and tone over electronic mail (e-mail). Five experiments suggest that this limitation is often underappreciated, such that people tend to believe that they can communicate over e-mail more effectively than they actually can. Studies 4(More)
Actions and intentions do not always align. Individuals often have good intentions that they fail to fulfill. The studies presented here suggest that actors and observers differ in the weight they assign to intentions when deciding whether an individual possesses a desirable trait. Participants were more likely to give themselves credit for their intentions(More)