(Psy Blog) Why We All Stink as Intuitive Psychologists: The False Consensus Effect
Many people quite naturally believe they are good ‘intuitive psychologists’, thinking it is relatively easy to predict other people’s attitudes and behaviours. We each have information built up from countless previous experiences involving both ourselves and others so surely we should have solid insights?
No such luck.
In reality people show a number of predictable biases when estimating other people’s behaviour and its causes. And these biases help to show exactly why we need psychology experiments and why we can’t rely on our intuitions about the behaviour of others.
One of these biases is called the false consensus effect. In the 1970s Stanford University social psychologist Professor Lee Ross set out to show just how the false consensus effect operates in two neat studies (Ross, Greene & House, 1977).