Loving yourself more than your neighbor: ERPs reveal online effects of a self-positivity bias

Citation:

Fields, E. C., & Kuperberg, G. R. (2015). Loving yourself more than your neighbor: ERPs reveal online effects of a self-positivity bias. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience , 10 (9), 1202-9.
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Date Published:

2015 Sep

Abstract:

A large body of social psychological research suggests that we think quite positively of ourselves, often unrealistically so. Research on this 'self-positivity bias' has relied mainly on self-report and behavioral measures, but these can suffer from a number of problems including confounds that arise from the desire to present oneself well. What has not been clearly assessed is whether the self-positivity bias influences the processing of incoming information as it unfolds in real time. In this study, we used event-related potentials to address this question. Participants read two-sentence social vignettes that were either self- or other-relevant. Pleasant words in self-relevant contexts evoked a smaller negativity between 300 and 500 ms (the N400 time window) than the same words in other-relevant contexts, suggesting that comprehenders were more likely to expect positive information when a scenario referred to themselves. This finding indicates that the self-positivity bias is available online, acting as a general schema that directly influences real-time comprehension.

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Last updated on 01/25/2019