Perceiving others care increases intellectual humility

June 30, 2018

Many studies have shown that people inflate perceptions of themselves.  On average, people think they are better than average, people exaggerate the amount of the household work they contribute to the total done, and when hearing new information people often claim they knew it all along.  In new work to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Reis, Lee, O’Keefe & Clark), we have identified a factor that reduces such biases – namely our participants’ perceptions that they have partners who are responsive to their welfare.  In three studies, heightening our research participants’ sense that had responsive relationship partners decreased each of these self-serving biases.  It appears that knowing that others care for you decreases your felt need to defensively puff yourself up.