People estimate their own abilities based on others’ performance

Credit: Rice University Ratings of our own abilities are strongly influenced by the performance of others, according to a study published July 20 in Neuron. Interacting with high performers makes us feel more capable in cooperative team settings, but less competent in competitive situations. Moreover, the degree of “self-other-mergence” is associated with activity in a brain region previously implicated in theory of mind—the ability to understand the mental states of oneself and others. “We found that although people estimated their abilities on the basis of their own performance in a rational manner, their estimates of themselves were partly merged with the performance of others,” says first author Marco Wittmann, a doctoral student in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford. “The findings potentially have implications for social interactions in the…


Link to Full Article: People estimate their own abilities based on others’ performance