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Perceived Reality: Meta-Analyses

Andrew F. Hayes and Jason B. Reineke

Subject Communication Reception and Effects » Information Processing and Cognitions

Key-Topics perception

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Meta-analyses have been conducted within the last twenty years in four areas in the field of perceived social reality (→  Meta-Analysis ; Perceived Reality as a Social Process ; Perceived Reality as a Communication Process ). Their results will be summarized here. It has to be noted from the start, though, that any meta-analysis summarizes only the existing literature at the time. The findings reported here should not be taken to reflect current knowledge or thinking in the area, but instead, only the state of knowledge as of the respective dates of publication of the meta-analyses. The earliest meta-analysis in the area of perceptions of social reality was undertaken on the corpus of literature on the false consensus effect (→  False Consensus ). The false consensus effect refers to our tendency to perceive our own behaviors, attitudes, and opinions as relatively more common than those of people who behave differently or have alternative opinions or beliefs. As such, it is a relative phenomenon, not an absolute one. We do not necessarily believe our own opinions or behaviors are in the majority but, rather, we tend to overestimate how common our opinions and behaviors are. Many explanations for this phenomenon have been offered, ranging from →  selective exposure to people who are similar to ourselves to motivation to believe that our behaviors, choices, and →  attitudes ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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