97. Egocentrism

Mundane egocentrism may cause people to overestimate the influence they can have over a certain situation, indirectly making them powerless to influence it. Or, egocentric cowardice might cause someone to attempt to escape in the middle of a disaster, saving his own skin, instead of taking necessary actions which may save millions of people. In general, egocentrism is one of the most prevalent human biases, and will affect every decision and action we take. One way of avoiding such effects, which may not be malicious in any way, is to take what economist Robin Hanson calls “the outside view,” that is, the view of a detached and objective observer. Role-playing such an observer can help people or groups overcome the “inside view,” which can have biasing effects.