Winnie-the-Pooh and the Pervasiveness of Egocentric Bias: Why We Are All THAT Sort of Bear

Scientific American:

This past week, Winnie-the-Pooh just wouldn’t let me go. Please write about me, he kept whining. And when I told him I’d already written about him last week, he just looked confused. So what? Write about me again. He insisted that one time was not nearly enough, that he had far, far more to share with the world—and that, after all, the world would be quite happy to hear far, far more about him. And why is that, I wondered? Here, Christopher Robin stepped in, right out of the first chapter of Winnie the Pooh. “Because he’s that sort of Bear.”

Indeed. Solid logic if ever there was. As Christopher Robin informs us in that same chapter, Winnie loves to hear stories…as long as they are about him. And, not only does his preferred material focus on his own self, but he assumes that that focus will be the preferred one for everyone else as well. Sound a bit, well, egocentric? If it does, Pooh is not necessarily to blame. As a matter of fact, he may just be showing us something about ourselves that we’d rather not see, if we had a choice: we are all that sort of Bear. Egocentricity pervades almost all of our thoughts and decisions—and while Winnie’s insistence might be taking it up a notch, it is merely highlighting a tendency that is all too common and all too commonly ignored.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

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