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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

Through the Eyes of the Ego

Through the Eyes of the Ego

(p.53) 3 Through the Eyes of the Ego
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

People process information about themselves, other people, and the world through the filter of their own self-images and egoistic desires. Their experience of the events that unfold around them is accompanied by an ongoing internal commentary that modifies the nature of the experience itself. Furthermore, what they say to themselves is often biased as people engage in self-deluded wishful thinking and judge events through the narrow window of their own self-interest. The self appears to be inherently egocentric and egotistical, and these tendencies create a number of problems. This chapter deals with the ways in which self-reflection interferes with people's perceptions of reality, and with the personal and interpersonal costs of these egotistic distortions, including self-serving illusions, the better-than-average effect, self-serving attributions, the bias blind spot, and other consequences of self-enhancement. The chapter concludes with tactics for fostering the recognition that one's perceptions are likely to be distorted in self-serving ways.

Keywords:   egotism, self-serving illusions, better-than-average effect, self-serving attributions, self-enhancement, bias blind spot

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