You're Like Me, No Matter What You Say:

Self Projection in Self-Other Comparisons


The present research explores self-projection as a determinant of judgments of another person, but departs from past research by allowing research participants to gain individuating information about the other person in a conversational format. 72 college students first completed a checklist of bad study habits. Next, in pairs, they discussed their study habits while being videotaped. Participants then rated their own study habits and their conversation partner's study habits. Participants' ratings of their own study habits robustly predicted their ratings of their partners' study habits. The number of bad study habits the partner mentioned during the conversation had no significant effect on participants' ratings of their partner. By seeking common conversational ground, discussion partners appear to have created a perception of greater similarity between themselves and the other person than that which objectively existed.