Jonathan Haidt’s book The Happiness Hypothesis taught me a fascinating term: unconscious overclaiming . It turns out that we unconsciously overestimate our contributions or skills relative to other people’s. Because we know and value our own contributions, we exaggerate how much we’ve contributed and undervalue what other people do. In one study, for example, when business-school students in a work group estimated their individual contributions to the team effort, the total was 139%. Is there a work situation where you’ve probably been unconsciously overclaiming? (How I love the word “overclaiming.”) Tell us in the comments.
Gretchen Rubin blogs at The Happiness Project and will publish a book by the same name in January 2010.