Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Simine Vazire


There is no question that biases exist in people’s self-perceptions of their personality. However, it is not known whether people are aware of these self-biases. In two studies: N = 130), I examined whether people have insight into their positive and negative self-biases across a range of traits. I predicted that self-biases result from self-deception: i.e., the intentional distortion of more realistic self-views), and as such, people should have some awareness of their self-biases. As predicted, people with positive biases: i.e., self-perceptions that are more positive than a reputation-based criterion measure) described themselves as positively biased, and people with overly negative self-views described themselves as negatively biased. These findings suggest that people may know more about themselves than they initially admit, and provide support for the existence of everyday self-deception in people’s views of their personality. Implications for the use of self-reports and the study of self-knowledge are discussed.


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