F. Character & Social/Cognitive/Moral Psychology > Balcetis and Dunning on "Considering the Situation"

Emily Balcetis and David Dunning have a new paper available in the Journal Self and Identity, "Considering the Situation: Why People are Better Social Psychologists than Self-psychologists."

Abstract. Are people better self- or social psychologists when they predict prosocial behavior? Why might people be more or less accurate when predicting their own and others’ actions? In two studies, participants considered variants of situations classically known to influence helping behavior (being alone vs. in a group, being in a good rather than bad mood). Participants made predictions about how they and their peers would act. Their predictions revealed that participants incorporated situational variations into social predictions, yet failed to do so when making self-predictions. These errors in self-prediction were not generated by response scale-type. This evidence suggests that people more appropriately use their knowledge of situational pressures when engaging in social rather than self-predictions.

Keywords: Above average effect; Accuracy; Motivation; Social predictions; Situation.

Self and Identity, 12: 1–15, 2013
ISSN: 1529-8868 print/1529-8876 online
February 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell