Think your friends know you? Think again

Jan 30, 2006

Researchers conclude suggestions from our closest friends about matters of taste, such as movies or restaurants, may not be as helpful as we think they are.

University of Michigan and Columbia University scientists say people tend to overestimate personal information they get from close friends more than comments from acquaintances.

"Think your friends know you pretty well? Think again," write Andrew Gershoff of the University of Michigan and Gita Johar of Columbia University. "We make our worst estimates for our closest friends. This is important because it affects how willing we are to rely on our friends' advice and word-of-mouth recommendations."

Why do we think our friends know us better than they really do? One explanation, according to Gershoff and Johar, is the high regard protects the relationship, at least in our minds. "To maintain our self image we want to believe we are important to others, particularly to others we care about. So when we think about our close friends, we are more motivated to think they know us well compared to our less close friends, and so we overestimate more for our close friends."

The study will appear in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

4 hours ago

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

The origin of the language of life

Dec 19, 2014

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

Nov 28, 2014

Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. ...

Recommended for you

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

10 hours ago

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.