Egocentric Bias

Egocentric bias is the inclination to overstate changes between the present and the past to make ourselves look better than we actually are.

Besides simply claiming credit for positive outcomes, which might simply be self-serving bias, people exhibiting egocentric bias also cite themselves as overly responsible for negative outcomes of group behavior as well (however this last attribute would seem to be lacking in megalomania).

This may be because our own actions are more "available" to us than the actions of others. See availability heuristic.

Michael Ross and Fiore Sicoly first identified this cognitive bias.

In a study conducted by Greenberg (1981), it was found that egocentric bias influences perceived fairness. Subjects felt that overpayment to themselves were more fair than overpayment to others; by contrast, they felt the underpayment to themselves were less fair than underpayment to others. Greenberg's studies showed that this egocentricism was eliminated when the subjects were put in a self-aware state, which was applied in his study with a mirror being placed in front of the subjects. When a person is not self-aware, they perceive that something can be fair to them but not necessarily fair to others and so fairness was something biased and in the eye of the beholder. When a person is self-aware, there is a uniform standard of fairness and there is no bias. When made self-aware, subjects rated overpayment and underpayment to both themselves and to others as equally unfair. It is believed that these results were obtained because self-awareness elevated subjects' concerns about perceived fairness in payment, thereby overriding egocentric tendencies.

Egocentric bias has influenced ethical judgements to the point where people not only believe that self-interested outcomes are preferential but are also the morally sound way to proceed.

Read more about Egocentric BiasFalse-consensus Effect

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