The Third Person Effect

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
Persuasion: The Third-Person Effect
Third-person effect

The third-person effect is unusual because it goes against the general finding that we overestimate other people's similarity to ourselves.

This is what psychologists call the false consensus effect: we tend to assume that others hold more similar opinions and have more similar attributes and personalities to ourselves than they really do.

The third-person effect, though, goes in the other direction. When it comes to influence, instead of thinking other people are similar to us, we think they're different. There are two facets of human nature that support this exception:

* Illusion of invulnerability. People prefer to believe that they are, on average, less vulnerable than others to negative influences, like unwanted persuasion attempts. We all want to protect our sense of control over our lives. One way we do that is to assume that ads only work on other people.

* Poor self-knowledge. Although it's an unpalatable idea, we often don't know what's really going on in our own minds. Not only does this make scientific psychology a tricky enterprise, it also means that many of our intuitions about the way our own minds work are scrambled and subject to biases like the illusion of invulnerability. The effect of persuasive messages is a good example of this.
Thank you for the thread.

This explains why it is difficult to explain people of evil effects of "evil foods, media control on individuals or dangers of govt. control or 911 truth". To day one of my team member mentioned about the surveillance software on android phones and he even feels that is good saying govt. does knows what we want. Any suggestion of dangers didn't go any where.

I observed this behavior in my self. I recently took android phone despite knowing dangers of like this, obviously I impressed by the applications and self justified it ( doesn't mean that I dont have other means ). I decided to return it. Similar thing I observed , I keep why people are selfish and I didn't realise how selfish I behave when I put under similar circumstances.

Yes, Buffers, Lying , self image illusions, Illusion of invulnerability or Poor self knowledge could be the causes. there may be Lot more reasons to this. No doubt, perception management goes in different flavors to hook people to specific direction, still Lot more reasons has to be there for this phenomenon. probably some biological reasons too.
 

EmeraldHope

The Living Force
Would it be correct to say that this is the ploy being used when "think of the children" is being evoked?
 

transientP

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
in the past few years i've been asking myself a lot of questions along the lines of 'what is the reason behind thinking that?'
or 'what is actually behind me opting to choose doing X over Y?' all the while i've been really 'studying' other people around me and trying to learn as much as possible about what pushes people's buttons and why, as well as what types of conditioning are out there and what they are meant to accomplish. IMHO i think we would all benefit from being really aware of ourselves and our surroundings.

i really look forward to reading any insights on this thread and possibly contributing personal assessments if i can.

thanks for starting it.
 

SeekinTruth

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks for starting this thread. I look forward to following the discussion and posted data.
 

Tigersoap

The Living Force
I haven't read this (I don't think I'll understand it well enough) but it might be interesting
The Branded Mind: What Neuroscience Really Tells Us about the Puzzle of the Brain and the Brand
by Erik Du Plessis

The book explores what we know about the structure of the brain, explains how the different parts of the brain interact, and demonstrates how this relates to current marketing theories on consumer behavior. The author investigates developments in neuroscience and neuromarketing, and how brain science can contribute to marketing and brand building strategies. Based on Millward Brown research, the book touches on key topics such as the nature of feelings, emotions and moods, personality, measuring the brain, consumer behavior and decision-making, and market segmentation.

It seems more researched than the books written by Martin Lindstrom author of Buyology and Brandwashed.

From the little I've read on Neuromarketing, one thing is clear, we have absolutely no idea at what goes on in our own mind and most of us don't control our choices, especially when it comes to buying things.
fwiw.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Again, from "You are not so smart" by David McRaney:

In the early days of psychology there was a prevailing belief among scientists. They thought just about everyone had low self-esteem, inferiority complexes, and a cluster of self-loathing neuroses. Those old beliefs are still reverberating in the public consciousness, but they were mostly wrong. The research conducted over the last fifty years has revealed the complete opposite to be true....

Self-esteem is mostly self-delusion, but it serves a purpose. You are biologically driven to think highly of yourself in order to avoid stagnation. If you were to stop and truly examine your faults and failures, you would become paralyzed by fear and doubt. Despite this, from time to time in your life, your personal hype machine sputters to a stop. You get depressed and anxious. You question yourself and your abilities. Usually it passes as your psychological immune system fights off the negative attitudes. In some places, like the modern United States, this hype machine is reinforced by a culture of exceptionalism.

This tendency to see yourself as above average is also bad. If you never see how much you are screwing up your life, mistreating your friends, and being a complete douche bag, you can destroy yourself without realizing how bad things have become.

...research shows... that you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, bad bosses, cheaters, and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame....

This sort of thinking also spreads to the way you compare yourself to others. ... just about all of us think we are more competent than our coworkers, more ethical than our friends, friendlier than the general public, more intelligent than our peers, more attractive than the average person, less prejudiced than people in our region, younger-looking that people the same age, better drivers... better children.. that we will live longer than average...

AND... NO ONE thinks that he or she is part of the population contributing to the statistics generating averages. You don't believe you are an average person, but you do believe everyone else is. ...

You are incredibly egocentric, just like everyone else. Your world is subjective by default, so it follows that most of your thoughts and behaviors are born of a subjective analysis of your personal world. The things affecting your daily life are always more significant than something happening far away or in the head of another person. ...

...it's difficult to see yourself as average... you find the idea repellent and search for a way to see yourself as unique. ...

You are a liar by default, and you lie most to yourself. If you fail, you forget it. If you win, you tell everyone. ... But self-serving bias keeps you going when the hype machine runs low on fuel.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
From Wikipedia:

A self-serving bias occurs when people attribute their successes to internal or personal factors but attribute their failures to situational factors beyond their control. The self-serving bias can be seen in the common human tendency to take credit for success but to deny responsibility for failure. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way that is beneficial to their interests. Self-serving bias may be associated with the better-than-average effect, in which individuals are biased to believe that they typically perform better than the average person in areas important to their self-esteem.[citation needed] This effect, also called "illusory superiority", has been found when people rate their own driving skill, social sensitivity, leadership ability and many other attributes.

From AllPsycheonline:

Self-Serving Bias

Description


This is our tendency to take credit for success (self-enhancing bias) and deny any responsibility for failure (self-protective bias).

This helps to protect our ego. It also enables us to confirm that we are meeting our goals.

We will tend to be less self-serving if other needs interrupt, for example if we are subject to public scrutiny.

Group-serving bias happens at group level, in the same way.

Example

I am proud of my good exam results except for the failure in one subject where I was unfortunately rather ill on the day of the examination.

Using it

Set the other person up to succeed at something and then let them take credit. They will feel good and be more amenable to your requests. Or let them take the credit and then subtly blackmail them.

Defending

Be honest. Do not take credit when you do not deserve it. You will gain more credibility.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Our View of Self and Others



The way we look at ourselves plays an important role in how we see the world. The way we see the world plays an important role in how we see ourselves. In this sense, our view of self and others is an ever-changing circle of influence. We know that those who are happy see more positive aspects of the world than those who are depressed. We also know that living in an abusive household or an overly restrictive environment can both lead to depression. This section will explore the social areas of attribution (how we interpret those around us) and attraction (what we seek in a friend or partner).





Attribution Theory



We tend to explain our own behavior and the behavior of others by assigning attributes to these behavior. An attribute is an inference about the cause of a behavior. According to the Attribution Theory, we tend to explain our own behavior and the behavior of others by assigning attributes to these behavior.



There are basically two sources for our behavior; those influenced by Situational (external) factors and those influenced by Dispositional (internal) factors. Imagine walking into your boss's office and he immediately tells you, in an angry tone, not to bother him. An external explanation of this behavior might be, "He's really a nice guy but the stress is overwhelming. He needs a vacation." On the other hand, you might see the same behavior and say, "What a jerk, I don't know why is is so angry all the time." The same behavior is given two very opposite explanations.



Many factors play a role in how we assign attributes to behaviors. Obviously our view of the world, our previous experience with a particular person or situation, and our knowledge of the behavior play an important role. Other factors can influence our interpretation as well, and there are two important errors or mistakes we tend make when assigning these attributes.



1. Fundamental Attribution Error. This refers to the tendency to over estimate the internal and underestimate the external factors when explaining the behaviors of others. This may be a result of our tendency to pay more attention to the situation rather than to the individual (Heider, 1958) and is especially true when we know little about the other person. For example, the last time you were driving and got cut off did you say to yourself "What an idiot" (or something similar), or did you say "She must be having a rough day." Chances are that this behavior was assigned mostly internal attributes and you didn't give a second thought to what external factors are playing a role in her driving behavior.



2. Self-Serving Bias. We tend to equate successes to internal and failures to external attributes (Miller & Ross, 1975). Imagine getting a promotion. Most of us will feel that this success is due to hard work, intelligence, dedication, and similar internal factors. But if you are fired, well obviously your boss wouldn't know a good thing if it were staring her in the face. This bias is true for most people, but for those who are depressed, have low self-esteem, or view themselves negatively, the bias is typically opposite. For these people, a success may mean that a multitude of negatives have been overlooked or that luck was the primary reason. For failures, the depressed individual will likely see their own negative qualities, such as stupidity, as being the primary factor.





Attraction



Why are we attracted to certain people and not others? Why do our friends tend to be very similar to each other? And what causes us to decide on a mate? Many of these questions relate to social psychology in that society's influence and our own beliefs and traits play an important role. Research has found five reasons why we choose our friends.:

1.

Proximity - The vast majority of our friends live close to where we live, or at least where we lived during the time period the friendship developed (Nahemow & Lawton, 1975). Obviously friendships develop after getting to know someone, and this closeness provides the easiest way to accomplish this goal. Having assigned seats in a class or group setting would result in more friends who's last name started with the same letter as yours (Segal, 1974).
2.

Association - We tend to associate our opinions about other people with our current state. In other words, if you meet someone during a class you really enjoy, they may get more 'likeability points' then if you met them during that class you can't stand.
3.

Similarity - On the other hand, imagine that person above agrees with you this particular class is the worse they have taken. The agreement or similarity between the two of you would likely result in more attractiveness (Neimeyer & Mitchell, 1988)
4.

Reciprocal Liking - Simply put, we tend to like those better who also like us back. This may be a result of the feeling we get about ourselves knowing that we are likable. When we feel good when we are around somebody, we tend to report a higher level of attraction toward that person (Forgas, 1992; Zajonc & McIntosh, 1992)
5.

Physical Attractiveness - Physical attraction plays a role in who we choose as friends, although not as much so as in who we choose as a mate. Nonetheless, we tend to choose people who we believe to be attractive and who are close to how we see our own physical attractiveness.

This last statement brings up an important factor in how we determine our friends and partner. Ever wonder why very attractive people tend to 'hang around' other very attractive people? Or why wealthy men seem to end up with physically attractive, perhaps even much younger, women? There is some truth to these stereotypical scenarios because we tend to assign "social assets" or "attraction points" to everyone we meet.



These points are divided into categories such as physical attractiveness, sense of humor, education, and wealth. If we view education as very important, we may assign more points to this category making it more likely that our friends or our mate will have more education. If we view wealth as more important then we will be more likely to find a mate who has more money.



We rate ourselves on these same categories and, at least at some level, know our score. We tend to then pick friends and partners who have a similar score that we do. Hence an attractive person hangs with other attractive people; or a wealthy older man gets the beautiful younger woman.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Self-serving bias
{...}

Several experiments have been performed to test the self-serving bias. They usually follow a general outline or theme (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999). Participants perform a task that tends to be a test of intelligence, social sensitivity, teaching ability, or therapy skills. The participants are then given feedback about how they performed on the task, which usually has no relation to how the participant actually did on the task in reality – the feedback is bogus. The participants then assign attributions for the outcome. They determine what factors contributed to the outcome of the event. The questions about attribution could either ask about effort and ability versus difficulty and luck or the participants are instructed to declare their responsibility for the result of the task. The self-serving bias is exhibited when participants attribute failure to external factors and success to internal factors (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999). In these studies, many different variables can be manipulated. One example is if the participant is working against or with other people. In some experiments they work alone, and in some cases they work cooperatively or competitively with partners or in groups. A great number of the studies examining the self-serving bias examine how other variables affect the extent of the self-serving bias.

One pair of studies that is a classic example of a study examining the self-serving bias is the two experiments by Wolosin, Sherman, and Till (1973). Participants participated in a decision-making task in which they had to choose among a pairs of geographic locations where the participant thought they were more likely to meet a friend. In one experiment, the participant performed the task in cooperation with another individual, and in the other experiment, the participant was in competition with the other individual. After the task was completed, feedback was given to the participant. In the cooperative case, the participants assumed more responsibility when they received positive feedback compared to participants who received neutral or negative feedback. The partner was assigned more responsibility in failure outcomes. In the competitive condition, again the participant exhibited more self-attribution in the success condition, and in the failure conditions, situational factors were given the most responsibility by the participants (Wolosin et al., 1973).

The self-serving bias has been observed in many studies since the concept was introduced. There are several different moderators that affect the self-serving bias. Some of the most noticeable and major of them are: role (actor or observer), task importance, outcome expectations, self-esteem, achievement motivation, self-focused attention, task choice, perceived task difficulty, interpersonal orientation, status, affect, locus of control, gender, and task type (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999). These fourteen factors were examined and in thirteen of the fourteen categories, the condition that was hypothesized to give a greater sense of self-threat caused a self-serving bias of a greater magnitude (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999). When people feel that their self-concept is being threatened, they exhibit the self-serving bias more strongly.

Questions have been raised as to whether the self-serving bias is a legitimate universal concept or not. Most notably in the literature, the questioning by Miller & Ross (1975), examined the self-serving bias as “fact or fiction.” Not all the studies in the past that were hypothesized to show a self-serving bias demonstrated the effect. Also, Miller and Ross claimed they found that there was a fault in some of the older studies’ methodology. They claimed that there was little support for the concept in the most general form. They argued that the literature provided more support for the idea that people take credit for success and not as much support for people blaming external factors for failure. Also, they claimed that the self enhancing effect could be caused by other factors other than the self-serving bias, such as, the tendency for people to expect success, the tendency for people to notice a covariation between successful events and behavior more than with unsuccessful events, and that people misinterpret contingency (Miller & Ross, 1975).

Bradley (1978) responded to these criticisms of Miller & Ross (1975). He maintained that the self-serving bias does not have to do solely with a person’s internal state, but also has a lot to do with how the person is viewed by others. In cases in which participants are explicitly aware that they are being monitored on their performance, and they are aware that they might be evaluated further, they tend to give counterdefensive explanations for internal and external attributions. He noticed that an individual wouldn’t want to take credit for something or deny responsibility for a negative outcome if they are going to be tested again. Being invalidated later would cause a blow to the self-esteem, and the individual is taking measures to prevent this from happening. This explains many of the counterintuitive cases that were part of the criticisms of Miller & Ross (1975). Bradley’s concepts explain why sometimes the self-serving bias is not observed in cases when public self-esteem is at stake.

The self-serving bias is linked to a concept called self-handicapping, in which in order to protect themselves from the threat of failing, people will sometimes engage in behavior that will give them an excuse in case they do poorly on the task. By using the strategies of self-handicapping, people are creating external factors to blame if they fail at the upcoming task. If they succeed at the task, they can attribute more credit to internal factors such as effort and ability (Jones & Berglas, 1978). They are setting up a situation in which they can use the self-serving bias.

References

Bradley, G. W. (1978). Self-Serving Biases in the Attribution Process: A reexamination of the Fact or Fiction Question. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 36, 56-71.

Campbell, W. Keith, & Sedikides, Constantine (1999). Self-Threat Magnifies the Self-Serving Bias: A Meta-Analytic Integration. Review of General Psychology. 3, 23-43.

Heider, F. The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley, 1958.

Jones, E.E., Berglas, S. (1978). Control of attributions about the self through self- handicapping strategies: The appeal of alcohol and the role of under achievement. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 4, 200-206. Miller, Dale T., & Ross, Michael (1975). Self-Serving Biases in the Attribution of Causality: Fact or Fiction?. Psychological Bulltein. 82, 213-225.

Sedikides, C., Campbell, W. K., Reeder, G. D., & Elliot, A. J. (1998). The Self- Serving Bias in Relational Context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 378-386.

Wolosin, R. J., Sherman, S. J., & Till, A. (1973). Effects of cooperation and competition on responsibility attribution after success and failure. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 9, 220-235.

Zuckerman, M. (1979). Attribution of success and failure revisited or: The motivational basis is alive and well in attribution theory. Journal of Personality, 47, 245-287.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Attribution Theory



Attribution Theory

Description

We all have a need to explain the world, both to ourselves and to other people, attributing cause to the events around us. This gives us a greater sense of control. When explaining behavior, it can affect the standing of people within a group (especially ourselves).

When another person has erred, we will often use internal attribution, saying it is due to internal personality factors. When we have erred, we will more likely use external attribution, attributing causes to situational factors rather than blaming ourselves. And vice versa. We will attribute our successes internally and the successes of our rivals to external ‘luck’. When a football team wins, supporters say ‘we won’. But when the team loses, the supporters say ‘they lost’.

Our attributions are also significantly driven by our emotional and motivational drives. Blaming other people and avoiding personal recrimination are very real self-serving attributions. We will also make attributions to defend what we perceive as attacks. We will point to injustice in an unfair world. People with a high need to avoid failure will have a greater tendency to make attributions that put themselves in a good light.

We will even tend to blame victims (of us and of others) for their fate as we seek to distance ourselves from thoughts of suffering the same plight.

We will also tend to ascribe less variability to other people than ourselves, seeing ourselves as more multifaceted and less predictable than others. This may well because we can see more of what is inside ourselves (and spend more time doing this).

In practice, we often tend to go through a two-step process, starting with an automatic internal attribution, followed by a slower consideration of whether an external attribution is more appropriate. As with Automatic Believing, if we are hurrying or are distracted, we may not get to this second step. This makes internal attribution more likely than external attribution.

Research

Roesch and Amirkham (1997) found that more experienced athletes made less self-serving external attributions, leading them to find and address real causes and hence were better able to improve their performance.

So What?
Using it


Beware of losing trust by blaming others (i.e. making internal attributions about them). Also beware of making excuses (external attributions) that lead you to repeat mistakes and leads to Cognitive Dissonance in others when they are making internal attributions about you.

Defending

Watch out for people making untrue attributions.
 
Thank you for the new board.
In light of the subject matter it is difficult to reply without second guessing and self analyzing everything I think I want to say.
When reading this material it came to my mind that this type of psychological tendancy that is apparently ingrained in all of us is part of the reason the C's say we are sts while we are here.
In my own attempts at the work lately I have been noticing how the predators mind is so pervasive in everything I think all day, and it has become so automatic for my thoughts to go there it is very difficult to notice that I am there in my thoughts when I am. (I hope that makes sense to someone besides me)
It seeks to sooth me when I am feeling like I am not doing a great job at something and distract me constantly when I am trying to stay aware of where I am in my wandering thought.

You are incredibly egocentric, just like everyone else. Your world is subjective by default, so it follows that most of your thoughts and behaviors are born of a subjective analysis of your personal world. The things affecting your daily life are always more significant than something happening far away or in the head of another person. ...

...it's difficult to see yourself as average... you find the idea repellent and search for a way to see yourself as unique. ...

You are a liar by default, and you lie most to yourself. If you fail, you forget it. If you win, you tell everyone. ... But self-serving bias keeps you going when the hype machine runs low on fuel.
Wow. This is humbling and infuriating and scary all at the same time. like a "you dont want to know the truth, you can't handle the truth" moment wrapped in an epiphany.
It can't be enough to just notice these tendancies in ourselves, just being an internal observer, is it? Is wanting to notice these thoughts in order to "correct" myself towards an STO orientation just another facet of my egoism and internal judgement of self and species as to what is the best? How tricky is the predator?
 

SeekinTruth

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
...research shows... that you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, bad bosses, cheaters, and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame....

This sort of thinking also spreads to the way you compare yourself to others. ... just about all of us think we are more competent than our coworkers, more ethical than our friends, friendlier than the general public, more intelligent than our peers, more attractive than the average person, less prejudiced than people in our region, younger-looking that people the same age, better drivers... better children.. that we will live longer than average...

AND... NO ONE thinks that he or she is part of the population contributing to the statistics generating averages. You don't believe you are an average person, but you do believe everyone else is. ...

You are incredibly egocentric, just like everyone else. Your world is subjective by default, so it follows that most of your thoughts and behaviors are born of a subjective analysis of your personal world. The things affecting your daily life are always more significant than something happening far away or in the head of another person. ...

...it's difficult to see yourself as average... you find the idea repellent and search for a way to see yourself as unique. ...

You are a liar by default, and you lie most to yourself. If you fail, you forget it. If you win, you tell everyone. ... But self-serving bias keeps you going when the hype machine runs low on fuel.

Well this is a pretty good summary (especially the parts I made bold) of what the Fourth Way Work, Mouravieff, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Castaneda, and the C's say is the default state of us humans. It is confirmation based on more recent research of what we've learned and observed in ourselves and others about our default state, our subjectivity/lack of ability to see ourselves as we are, buffers, self-importance, internal considering and lack of external considering, and generally the false personality/Predator's Mind.
 

Tigersoap

The Living Force
Laura said:
This bias is true for most people, but for those who are depressed, have low self-esteem, or view themselves negatively, the bias is typically opposite. For these people, a success may mean that a multitude of negatives have been overlooked or that luck was the primary reason. For failures, the depressed individual will likely see their own negative qualities, such as stupidity, as being the primary factor.

Oh well that fits me to a T.
It happens that I also blame the other instead but in very specific cases like when driving for example.
It seems that it's just a "normal" state of being for most narcissistically wounded people osit.
 

webglider

Dagobah Resident
There are some carefully crafted propaganda techniques that are very successful. I think that learning how to identify them may help one escape from their control. Once you know what they are, you'll see them everywhere, (at least in U.S. culture and politics)

There is lots of information here. It's set up for teachers who want to make students aware of how thery are being manipulated, and it's also good for the general public to learn the methods of manipulation as well. The information ranges from propaganda used for convincing the public for the need for war to that used for selling toothpaste.

http://www.classroomtools.com/proppage.htm
 

Lilou

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
webglider said:
There are some carefully crafted propaganda techniques that are very successful. I think that learning how to identify them may help one escape from their control. Once you know what they are, you'll see them everywhere, (at least in U.S. culture and politics)

I watched a movie last night on tv, and in light of this 3rd person thread, I carefully watched the ads...for a short while. I then turned off the tv during the commercials and did a few pipe breaths and used the time to reflect on a few things. I found that every 10 minutes, they played 6 full minutes of commercials. I was actually stunned. So I just turned it off and turned it back on in 6 minutes. The programming is likely much deeper than we can even imagine! Is awareness of these techniques enough to prevent being affected?
 
Top Bottom