When people are asked to rate themselves, they often are comparing themselves to some social reference that may not be known, but instead of self-enhancing based on themselves, they are comparing themselves to someone or something else. When people rate themselves, they often believe that they are smarter than they really are. If gathering evidence from friends about the subject, we would ask friends, family, and lovers, but those people’s perceptions would be affected by their feelings towards the person. Whereas, if we use someone else’s judgement of a subject, they will be less positive since they don’t know the subject.
- Social psychology strives to study self-enhancement or the idea that most people tend to overemphasize themselves.
- Personality psychologists are not interested in aggregate estimates of self enhancement but on individual perceptions about who self-enhances and who would self-efface.
- To social psychologists, self enhancement is an outcome of social comparison. So, they tend to measure how people judge their morality based on others’ morality.
“For decades, social psychologists and personality psychologists have talked past one another by using different theoretical frameworks and different measures to study self-enhancement.”