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: Violence rates can be halved in just 30 years, say leading experts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lady baboons with guy pals live longer

Sep 10, 2014

Numerous studies have linked social interaction to improved health and survival in humans, and new research confirms that the same is true for baboons.

What would it be like to fall into a black hole?

Sep 08, 2014

Let's say you decided to ignore some of my previous advice. You've just purchased yourself a space dragon from the Market on the Centauri Ringworld, strapped on your favorite chainmail codpiece and sonic ...

Season's new phones are all about selfie image

Sep 04, 2014

Visit any tourist destination, and you're bound to see individuals and groups taking photos of themselves for sharing on social media. It's a declaration to the world that they were there.

Grindr relents to user backlash – but does it respect its users?

Sep 03, 2014

The world's most popular gay social networking app, Grindr, is having a tough time. William Saponaro Jr is suing its developers for negligence, after he was arrested for sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Sapnaro claims a 13 ...

Recommended for you

Marcellus drilling boom may have led to too many hotel rooms

2 hours ago

Drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region led to a rapid increase in both the number of hotels and hotel industry jobs, but Penn State researchers report that the faltering occupancy rate may signal that there are ...

User comments : 0