The ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias
“I got more than 80% in 5 subjects” you crow like a world-conquering rooster. “But what about the sixth subject?”, “ermm” you hmm and haw… “Well, You know , on that day I was a little ill so I got less”.
Aha! If marks are about 80% it’s all due to your hard work but if they are less, the failure is attributed to “illness”- What a Self-serving opinion or bias!
Self-serving bias is a type of bias where you attribute the success to your own super-hero qualities while firmly plonking your failures at the doorstep of others.
Although Self-serving bias is predominantly seen in students (especially during the result or competitions), this bias knows no age bar and exists in every bracket.
Why does the ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias happen?
Simply put… Human Nature! It’s human nature to seek credit for success as it turbo-boosts their ego and self-esteem. The same human nature stops you from taking any responsibilities for the failures and makes you attribute it to external factors.
Various factors influence the ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias.
1. Age plays a vital role in this bias; the older you are, the more you internalise.
2. Gender has a definitive role; men tend to externalize more than women. Ahem!
3. Culture has a role. People from individualistic culture tend to follow the Self-serving bias more.
4. Depressed individuals are less likely to use Self-serving bias.
The Beneficial Influence of ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias
While Self-serving bias can hurt a lot of individuals, in the long run, it does have a certain beneficial effect. It encourages people to stay positive and motivated during adversity. When catastrophe strikes, Self-serving bias does not allow the person to crumble like a day-old cookie rather it helps the person in self-motivation and to persevere on his endeavors.
The Adverse Effects of ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias
Self-serving bias can deprive you of learning and growth. Listening to critiques and accepting them help us in shedding our weakness but if we blame external factors for our mishaps, then we stagnate. This behaviour can lead to conflicts in the workplace. It will make you a poor team player.
Overcoming the ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias… If Needed!
Think before you speak is one mantra that can really help you cope with this behaviour. Get objective, analyse your behaviour, your contributions to the project. Restrain yourself when your team has completed a project successfully.
Compliment and acknowledge the efforts of all individuals. In the same way, quit blaming others for any debacles, accept your share in the failure. Be a team player.
It is a behaviour that can be weeded out through conscious efforts. However, it is better to seek counseling if you find yourself addicted to the ‘I-Me-Myself’ Self Serving Bias.