False Consensus About False Consensus

Abstract

Research on human reasoning is dominated by demonstrations of the errors people make in various judgment and decision-making tasks. The area of social cognition is not an exception: the list of apparent errors is long and includes a number of contradictory phenomena. Here we explore a prominent example of the contradictory pairs of biases: false consensus and false uniqueness. We show in an empirical study and with simulations that the consensus in the literature about the stability of these effects may be premature, as their occurrence depends on the format of questions used to measure them.


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