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Reply #75


Response to beevul (Reply #67)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:18 AM

75. The gun control false consensus is falling apart, and they're not taking it well at all...

http://upload.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=81761

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consensus_effect

In psychology, the false-consensus effect or false-consensus bias is a cognitive bias whereby a person tends to overestimate how much other people agree with him or her. There is a tendency for people to assume that their own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values and habits are 'normal' and that others also think the same way that they do. This cognitive bias tends to lead to the perception of a consensus that does not exist, a 'false consensus'. This false consensus is significant because it increases self-esteem. The need to be "normal" and fit in with other people is underlined by a desire to conform and be liked by others in a social environment...

...The false-consensus effect is not necessarily restricted to cases where people believe that their values are shared by the majority. The false-consensus effect is also evidenced when people overestimate the extent of their particular belief is correlated with the belief of others. Thus, fundamentalists do not necessarily believe that the majority of people share their views, but their estimates of the number of people who share their point of view will tend to exceed the actual number.

This bias is especially prevalent in group settings where one thinks the collective opinion of their own group matches that of the larger population. Since the members of a group reach a consensus and rarely encounter those who dispute it, they tend to believe that everybody thinks the same way.

Additionally, when confronted with evidence that a consensus does not exist, people often assume that those who do not agree with them are defective in some way. There is no single cause for this cognitive bias; the availability heuristic, self-serving bias and naïve realism have been suggested as at least partial underlying factors.


http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/11/why-we-all-stink-as-intuitive.php

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002210317790049X

The “false consensus effect”: An egocentric bias in social perception and attribution processes

Lee Ross, David Greene, Pamela House

Stanford University

Abstract

Evidence from four studies demonstrates that social observers tend to perceive a “false consensus” with respect to the relative commonness of their own responses. A related bias was shown to exist in the observers' social inferences. Thus, raters estimated particular responses to be relatively common and relatively unrevealing concerning the actors' distinguishing personal dispositions when the responses in question were similar to the raters' own responses; responses differing from those of the rater, by contrast, were perceived to be relatively uncommon and revealing of the actor. These results were obtained both in questionnaire studies presenting subjects with hypothetical situations and choices and in authentic conflict situations. The implications of these findings for our understanding of social perception phenomena and for our analysis of the divergent perceptions of actors and observers are discussed. Finally, cognitive and perceptual mechanisms are proposed which might account for distortions in perceived consensus and for corresponding biases in social inference and attributional processes




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