False Consensus Effect may refer to the conviction that one's own beliefs, behaviors and preferences are widely shared and appropriate. The result is overestimation of the prevalance of such beliefs etc. in the larger population. This conviction typically convinces the deluded person that he or she belongs to a non-existent opinion majority and that holding contrary beliefs behaviors or preferences is uncommon or even deviant. False consensus effect is motivated by:

desire to feel one is like everyone else
desire for social support
desire to validate opinions


  • G. Marks and N. Miller. "Ten Years of Research on False Consensus Effect: An Empirical and Theoretical Review." Pyschological Bulletin. 102, pp. 72-90.

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