The liking gap is the disparity between how much a person believes that another person likes them, and that other person's actual opinion. Studies have found that most people underestimate how much other people like them and enjoy their company.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Empirical research edit

The study which first investigated the liking gap looked at people's interactions in various scenarios: strangers meeting for the first time in a laboratory setting, first-year college students getting to know their dorm mates, members of the general public getting to know each other during a personal development workshop. People tended to underestimate how much their conversation partners liked and enjoyed their company. The gap was also seen in the year-long section of the study looking at dorm mates. The dorm mates participated in multiple tests over the year and the gap consistently appeared. It was reliably shown that people's views of their own conversation tended to be more negative than their view of other people's performance.[7] In another study, videos of first encounters were judged based on verbal or nonverbal cues of enjoyment. Even when cues were obvious to outside observers, the gap persisted with the participants. It was also evident in conversations of varying lengths; conversations that were short, medium, and long were compared and the gap appeared in all categories of conversation length.

There is evidence that suggests the liking gap begins to develop from the age of 5, as this is around the time when children begin to become more aware of and concerned with the ways that they are evaluated by others.[8]

The gap does not show that people are always negative. Research suggests that people usually have favorable views about themselves and others.[9][10] However, there is evidence that people tend to exhibit self-criticism when thinking about their own interactions with others.[11]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Emma, Young (2018-09-24). "The "liking gap" – we tend to underestimate the positive first impression we make on strangers". Research Digest. The British psychological society. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. ^ "At first meeting, people like you more than you think". Yale News.
  3. ^ Bharanidharan, Sadhana (Sep 11, 2018). "Nervous About First Impressions? You May Underestimate How Much People Like You". Medical Daily.
  4. ^ "People Like You More Than You Think, a New Study Suggests". Time.
  5. ^ "'Liking Gap' Might Stand in Way of New Friendships". US News.
  6. ^ "Bridging the 'liking-gap,' researchers discuss awkwardness of conversations". Science Daily.
  7. ^ a b Boothby, Erica J.; Cooney, Gus; Sandstrom, Gillian M.; Clark, Margaret S. (2018-11-01). "The Liking Gap in Conversations: Do People Like Us More Than We Think?" (PDF). Psychological Science. 29 (11): 1742–1756. doi:10.1177/0956797618783714. ISSN 0956-7976. PMID 30183512. S2CID 52165115.
  8. ^ a b Wolf, Wouter; Nafe, Amanda; Tomasello, Michael (2021-04-29). "The Development of the Liking Gap: Children Older Than 5 Years Think That Partners Evaluate Them Less Positively Than They Evaluate Their Partners". Psychological Science. 32 (5): 789–798. doi:10.1177/0956797620980754. ISSN 0956-7976. PMID 33914647. S2CID 233462197.
  9. ^ Alicke, Mark (1985). "Global self-evaluation as determined by the desirability and controllability of trait adjectives". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 49 (6): 1621–1630. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.49.6.1621.
  10. ^ Kruger, Justin; David, Dunning (1999). "Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77 (6): 1121–1134. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1121. PMID 10626367.
  11. ^ Deri, Sebastian; Davidai, Shai; Gilovich, Thomas (2017). "Home alone: Why people believe others' social lives are richer than their own". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 113 (6): 858–877. doi:10.1037/pspa0000105. PMID 29189037. S2CID 25964432.