Action Embellishment: An Intention Bias in the Perception of Success

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Action Embellishment: An Intention Bias in the Perception of Success

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dc.contributor.author Wegner, Daniel M.
dc.contributor.author Preston, Jesse Lee
dc.contributor.author Ritter, Ryan S.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-20T15:10:44Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Preston, Jesse Lee, Ryan S. Ritter, and Daniel M. Wegner. 2011. Action embellishment: An intention bias in the perception of success. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101(2): 233-244. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0022-3514 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9925389
dc.description.abstract Naïve theories of behavior hold that actions are caused by an agent’s intentions, and the subsequent success of an action is measured by the satisfaction of those intentions. But when an action is not as successful as intended, the expected causal link between intention and action may distort perception of the action itself. Four studies found evidence of an intention bias in perceptions of action. Actors perceived actions to be more successful when given a prior choice (e.g., choose between two words to type) and also when they felt greater motivation for the action (e.g., hitting pictures of disliked people). When the intent was to fail (e.g., singing poorly) choice led to worse estimates of performance. A final experiment suggested that intention bias works independent from self-enhancement motives. In observing another actor hit pictures of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, shots were distorted to match the actor’s intentions, even when it opposed personal wishes. Together these studies indicate that judgments of action may be automatically distorted, and that these inferences arise from the expected consistency between intention and action in agency. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Psychology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Psychological Association en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1037/a0023231 en_US
dash.license OAP
dc.subject intention en_US
dc.subject action en_US
dc.subject self-enhancement en_US
dc.subject perceptual distortion en_US
dc.title Action Embellishment: An Intention Bias in the Perception of Success en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Accepted Manuscript en_US
dc.relation.journal Journal of Personality and Social Psychology en_US
dash.depositing.author Wegner, Daniel M.
dc.date.available 2012-11-20T15:10:44Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6868]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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