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Forschungskolloquium: Gastvortrag von Joachim Krüger

"Feeling similar to others and superior at the same time"


Joachim I. Krüger, Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Brown University

Zeit:  Montag, 13.05.2019, 14:00 Uhr

Ort:   Leopoldstr. 13, Haus 1, Raum 1407


As members of a social species, individual humans depend on the goodwill, cooperation, and love of others. At the same time, individuals who command respect and resources fare better than those who don’t. These two structural realities give rise to two conflicted psychological needs and behavioral repertoires. The first need is to be similar to others and to be included in cooperating groups. The second need is to do well individually, which entails the desire to do better than others – who, ironically, are those who stand to grant respect and group inclusion. A simple interpretation of this conflict is that the individual can maximize one need only at the expense of the other. Social projection, or the idea that others are similar to the self, is a perceptual heuristic contributing to the satisfaction of the need for successful cooperation. Self-enhancement, or the idea that one is superior to others, is a heuristic contributing to the satisfaction of the need for successful competition. In a set of studies, my collaborators and I show that the hydraulic model (meet one need while frustrating the other) is incorrect. Specifically, we show how social projection can mitigate a threat to the need for excellence. I will end with a discussion of motivated reasoning in light of statistical (Bayesian) benchmarks.



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