Through the Eyes of the Ego

Mark R. Leary

in The Curse of the Self

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172423
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786756 | DOI:
 Through the Eyes of the Ego

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People process information about themselves, other people, and the world through the filter of their own self-images and egoistic desires. Their experience of the events that unfold around them is accompanied by an ongoing internal commentary that modifies the nature of the experience itself. Furthermore, what they say to themselves is often biased as people engage in self-deluded wishful thinking and judge events through the narrow window of their own self-interest. The self appears to be inherently egocentric and egotistical, and these tendencies create a number of problems. This chapter deals with the ways in which self-reflection interferes with people's perceptions of reality, and with the personal and interpersonal costs of these egotistic distortions, including self-serving illusions, the better-than-average effect, self-serving attributions, the bias blind spot, and other consequences of self-enhancement. The chapter concludes with tactics for fostering the recognition that one's perceptions are likely to be distorted in self-serving ways.

Keywords: egotism; self-serving illusions; better-than-average effect; self-serving attributions; self-enhancement; bias blind spot

Chapter.  10362 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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