Reference bias

Peer Pressure May Not Work The Way We Think It Does
March 25, 2016

He studied more than 5,000 students taking a MOOC, a massive open online course.

GREENE: So you and I might be paired together. I’m grading your work. You’re grading mine. You are a top-notch student. And I am noticing that because I’m grading your work, and I’m getting very intimidated. And I might be likely to quit the course then.

VEDANTAM: … the reason: a very interesting psychological phenomenon known as a reference bias. When the ordinary students are reading the work of the best students, they’re unconsciously drawing a faulty conclusion.

ROGERS: You interpret that as meaning everyone who’s participating in this course is that good. The problem is that people don’t realize these are atypical. This kind of process is called reference bias. They just – they shift who they think the reference group is, and they think this is what their peers are like.