Why we experience the illusion of transparency

People experience the illusion of transparency because they have a natural egocentric bias, which causes them to rely too heavily on their own perspective when trying to consider the perspective of others.

Because you spend the vast majority of your time considering your thoughts and actions from your own perspective, it’s hard for you to adjust from the anchor of your own point of view when you attempt to imagine how others see you. 

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The illusion of transparency

The illusion of transparency is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate the degree to which their thoughts and emotions are apparent to others

For example, the illusion of transparency can cause people who feel nervous about public speaking to overestimate the degree to which their nervousness is noticed by the audience.

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The empathy gap

The empathy gap is a cognitive bias that causes people to struggle to understand mental states that are different from their own.

When someone is happy or angry, they struggle to understand the perspective of someone who is in a different mental state, whether that person is their future self or someone else.

The egocentric bias

It is a cognitive bias that causes people to rely too much on their own point of view when they examine or remember events in their life.

This means that people tend to either underestimate how different other people’s viewpoint is from their own, or to ignore other people’s viewpoint entirely.

Hindsight Bias

Hindsight bias is a false belief that our judgement is better than it actually is when we look back and see the events. Reality appears more predictable after an event happens. This is also known as the ‘Knew-it-all-along effect’.

This bias makes people less accountable for their decisions, and overconfident in their ability to make those decisions, due to the various mental models that they have developed.

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