What is it about?
Assumed similarity, the convergence between one's self-view and perceptions of others, has been shown for several characteristics. But does "true" assumed similarity exist? That is, do people truly see their own characteristics being shared by others? Or is assumed similarity simply attributable to benevolent perceivers judging others in more positive (benevolent) ways? We critically test these two competing accounts in two large studies on person perception among unknown others.
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Why is it important?
Our results show that the convergence between how people perceive themselves and how they perceive others is indeed partly attributable to the content of the characteristics being judged: People do perceive others as sharing some of their characteristics. However, these assumed similarity effects are only apparent for characteristics that are strongly linked to individuals' value system, such as honesty. Thus, true assumed similarity exists, but only for value-related traits. These findings have important implications for understanding accuracy and bias in person perception.
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This page is a summary of: Trait-specificity versus global positivity: A critical test of alternative sources of assumed similarity in personality judgments., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, April 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000420.
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