Logo Logo

Dont Hate Me Because Im Beautiful: Self-Enhancing Biases in Threat Appraisal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Abstract

We compare people's intuitive judgments about how the self and others respond to threat. We propose that people hold a self-enhancing belief in threat immunity, i.e., they see themselves as more secure than other people in the face of threat. In Study 1, people assumed that they threatened others more than others threatened them. In Study 2, people on project teams estimated that both they and their teammates provoked roughly equal levels of threat in others, although they experienced less threat than did other people. Study 3 experimentally manipulated threat perceptions in an interactive context and revealed that when people held self-enhancing threat appraisals, those with whom they interacted experienced lower satisfaction with the outcome and relationship. Finally, Study 4 demonstrated that, as compared to people who affirmed themselves and thus focused on the self, people who affirmed another person displayed lower threat immunity. The self-enhancing nature of these threat appraisals reveals how competition and envy emerge in organizations or at least, how people imagine they emerge.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Tanya Menon, Leigh Thompson

Date Published

2007

Citations

Menon, Tanya, and Leigh Thompson. 2007. Dont Hate Me Because Im Beautiful: Self-Enhancing Biases in Threat Appraisal. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 104(1): 45-60.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more