Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Allison

Second Advisor

Dr. Jane M. Berry

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick


People have a tendency to view themselves in a more favorable light than they do others, a phenomenon termed the egocentric bias (Messick, Bloom, Boldizar, & Samuelson, 1985). Past research has shown that people are more likely to display the bias in situations that are "nonverifiable", meaning that there is no way to accurately measure the dimension on which judgments are made (Allison, Messick, & Goethals, 1989). Two experiments tested the hypothesis that only nondepressed individuals in a nonverifiable situation would show the egocentric bias, whereas non depressed subjects in the verifiable condition and depressed subjects in both conditions would not show the bias. In the first experiment, forty-seven introductory psychology students performed a timed task in the laboratory and then made estimations as to how much time they and a "partner" consumed to complete the task. Analyses revealed that non depressed subjects in the verifiable and non verifiable conditions demonstrated the egocentric bias, and that depressives in both conditions did not show the bias. In the second experiment, fifty apartment residents reported how much time they and their apartmentmates consumed weekly in performing household tasks. The results showed that the egocentric bias emerged in all conditions. These and other findings are discussed in conjunction with previous theoretical work on social and temporal judgments. i

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Psychology Commons