The “false consensus” error. Tendency to see one’s own attitudes as more common than they really are Why? Example: Legalization of pot (marijuana): Estimate of others’ attitudes : What percentage of students in this class are “pro” vs. “anti”? Self: Is your own attitude “pro” or “anti”?.
Example: Legalization of pot (marijuana):
Favor of legalizing pot?
Perceived distribution of attitudes
Perceptions by pro participants Perceptions by anti participants
Risk that woman will contract AIDS with one heterosexual contact with HIV positive male, no condom
BUT: Why important to wear a condom:
Helps prevent: unwanted pregnancy, spread of other STDs (e.g. herpes; 20-30% U.S. population, no cure at current time)
8% of AIDS cases in the United States have been attributed to heterosexual contact.
Automatic process triggered
Automatic processing likely to dominate
Perceiver Aware of automatic process?
Motivated to “correct”?
Ability to “correct”?
Potential for controlled processing
Washington University professor found guilty of drinking beer during class
Colleagues of Dr. Lambert are “shocked, just shocked” at the news.
Initial acceptance of assertion as true
“Unaccept” if motivation and ability high