The Social Psychology of Biased Self-Assessment

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Objective: To describe the psychological mechanisms that underlie biased self-assessment and suggest pedagogical techniques to counter them. Findings: Since the psychological mechanisms that underlie bias self-assessment occur below awareness, strategies that attempt to address bias directly are unlikely to succeed. A more effective approach may be to structure students’ learning experiences in ways that prevent the unconscious biasing mechanisms from operating efficiently. Summary: Given the importance of accurate self-knowledge for professional students and clinicians, as well as its difficulty to attain, an understanding of the psychological mechanisms that contribute the most common forms of biased self-assessment is essential for creating and implementing effective mitigation strategies.