Skip to main content
Universal biases in self-perception : better and more human than average
British Journal of Social Psychology
  • Steve LOUGHNAN, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Bernhard LEIDNER, New School for Social Research, New York, USA
  • Guy DORON, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel
  • Nick HASLAM, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Yoshihisa KASHIMA, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Jennifer TONG, Singapore Management University, Republic of Singapore
  • Wai Lan, Vicki YEUNG, University of Hokkaido, Japan
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

There is a well-established tendency for people to see themselves as better than average (self-enhancement), although the universality of this phenomenon is contested. Much less well-known is the tendency for people to see themselves as more human than average (self-humanizing). We examined these biases in six diverse nations: Australia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and the USA. Both biases were found in all nations. The self-humanizing effect was obtained independent of self-enhancement, and was stronger than self-enhancement in two nations (Germany and Japan). Self-humanizing was not specific to Western or English-speaking cultures and its magnitude was less cross-culturally variable than self-enhancement. Implications of these findings for research on the self and its biases are discussed.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010 The British Psychological Society

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Loughnan, S., Leidner, B., Doron, G., Haslam, N., Kashima, Y., Tong, J., & Yeung, V. W. L. (2010). Universal biases in self-perception: Better and more human than average. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(3), 627-636. doi: 10.1348/014466610X487779