• share this

Self-perception is usually quite accurate, study finds

/ 08:04 PM December 18, 2018
old style photo. chrome makeup mirror on the table stock photo

New research suggests that how we perceive ourselves is usually not too far from reality.

Researchers at Canada’s University of Toronto investigated the assumption that people lean towards self-enhancement when considering their own personalities. However, their findings showed that our self-perception is usually relatively accurate, with our perception of our own personality matching that of our peers a good majority of the time.


The researchers carried out a large-scale meta-analysis of 160 independent studies to see whether self-enhancement exists in personality assessments. They compared self- and informant reports of the same person’s “big five” personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

On the whole, they found that self-evaluations were relatively similar to evaluations provided by peers. Dr. Brian Connelly, who led the study, remarked that people tended to exaggerate their openness to new experiences, but the effect was small.


The one important exception in the researchers’ findings involves self-perception versus the perception of strangers.

“There’s only a small pool of studies that look at this effect,” said Dr. Connelly. “It suggests that people are much more critical of those they’re unacquainted with.”

This behavior may seem relatively logical when making judgments about an unknown person but can lead to biased perceptions. JB


Regular trips to cultural events could reduce risk of depression later in life

Vitamin D deficiency linked to a higher risk of depression

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: bias, judgment, Personality, psychology, self-perception
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2019 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.