Right about others, wrong about ourselves? Actual and perceived self-other differences in resistance to persuasion

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Douglas, Karen ; Sutton, Robbie M. (2004)
  • Publisher: British Psychological Society
  • Subject: BF

The third-person effect (TPE) is the tendency for people to perceive the media as more influential on others than on themselves. This study introduced a new methodological paradigm for measuring the TPE and examined whether the effect stems from an overestimation of the persuasibility of others, an underestimation of the persuasibility of the self, both, or neither. In three studies, we compared ratings of\ud (a) current self attitudes (both baseline and post-persuasion),\ud \ud (b) current others' attitudes (both baseline and post-persuasion),\ud \ud (c) retrospective self attitudes, and\ud \ud (d) retrospective others' attitudes.\ud \ud We also measured traditional third-person perception ratings of perceived influence. Rather than overestimating others' attitude change, we found evidence that people underestimated the extent to which their own attitudes had, or would have, changed.
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