Social Projection


Social projection refers to the tendency to assume that others are similar to oneself. Students who cheat on their statistics exams, for example, probably believe that many others cheat as well, whereas honest students think that cheating is rare. Projection is not limited to valueladen behaviors such as cheating versus being honest, and therefore, projection is not necessarily a defense mechanism. Statistically, projection is simply a positive correlation between what people say about themselves and what they believe is common in the group.

Though not considered a defense mechanism, it was believed for a long time that projection is a judgmental bias that people should rather get rid of. Surely, the argument was, people have enough information about others to make accurate estimates about the group. ...

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