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Research Article

On the Reduction of Self-Other Asymmetries: Benefits, Pitfalls, and Other Correlates of Social Projection

Author:

Joachim I. Krueger

Department of Psychology, Brown University, Box 1853, Providence, RI 02912, US
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Abstract

Perceptions of similarity between the self and other individuals or groups are among the most replicable findings in social-perception research. As such, they present an apparent limitation to a variety of self-other asymmetries in social judgment. I first review evidence showing that perceptions of similarity are indeed (as hypothesized) mainly a matter of projection rather than introjection. People are far more likely to project their own attributes and attitudes to others than to “introject” the attributes or attitudes of others into the self. Then, building on the well-established finding that projection improves the accuracy of social perception, I show that projection also reduces various self-other biases, such as false uniqueness, pluralistic ignorance, and self-enhancement. I conclude with a discussion of so-called “empathy gaps,” in which projection actually leads to errors.

How to Cite: Krueger, J.I., 2002. On the Reduction of Self-Other Asymmetries: Benefits, Pitfalls, and Other Correlates of Social Projection. Psychologica Belgica, 42(1-2), pp.23–41. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.984
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Published on 01 Jan 2002.
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