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The Spotlight Effect in Social Judgment - Essay Example

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The Spotlight Effect in Social Judgment

The authors argue that people tend to overestimate the extent to which their actions and appearance are noted by others a phenomenon they dubbed spotlight effect. Their research involved 5 studies. Their first study included participants wearing T-shirts about a local musician who is not famous. It was expected that the participants would overestimate how they feel either embarrassed or unhappy while putting on such clothing. The second study involved whether the same effect could be felt in non-embarrassing situations. The same conclusion was however arrived at. In the third study, the aim was to investigate the spotlight effect on behavior. Through group discussions, it was also concluded that most people expressed the spotlight effect on their behavior. The three authors conducted an experimental research at Cornell University. Total of 109 students was chosen of which other participants were observers who also made a big impact in determining the result of the study. The method of study was a mixed design in which both the participants and the observers were located within the study. In study 1 the dependent variables included the observers while the independent variable included the participant who would wear a T-Shirt with a local musician who is not so famous. In study 2 the dependent variable was the observers while the independent variable was the participant who wore the T-shirt. In study 3 the dependent variable was each student who moved to a different group while the independent variable included the observers who observed the participant make their presentations. From these studies, we can identify the spotlight effect by the fact that an average person’s actions command less attention from others that he or she suspects and the social spotlight may shine less brightly than he/she expects. When all the participants from the three different studies were asked questions about their final response, they cited alternative values which were much higher than values which were lower. This led to the author's same conclusion that we normally overestimate our perceptions than what people see in us. ...Show more

Summary

The study analyzes the article “The Spotlight Effect in Social Judgment".This study enjoys strengths such as being reliable and valid in terms of its conclusion. However, the study has some weaknesses in terms of bias which might also lead to wrong results and conclusion. …
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