Graeme Newell

Projection Bias

If you look at the thousands of comments this amazing social video generated, you’ll notice something peculiar. After watching this thrilling clip, you would think viewers would share their OWN FEELINGS about how this video inspired them. For example:

“This video motivates me to be more of a team player.”

But despite the fact the commenters on this video know NOTHING about this scene and have never met anyone in it, a lot of the commenters claim to fully grasp the DEEPEST MOTIVATIONS of the participants:

“They came together to show what teamwork and trust could do.”
“Each and ever member of this team is united in their commitment to each other.”

This is PROJECTION BIAS. We mistakenly believe we are clairvoyant mind readers. We effortlessly jump to the conclusion that how WE feel is how the REST OF THE WORLD must feel as well. Our egotistical brain just can’t quite fathom that normal people wouldn’t share a viewpoint that’s as brilliant as the one we have. Only CRACKPOTS would have a different opinion.

Building these human towers is actually a sporting event where teams compete in a stadium to see who can build the tallest tower.

So next time you form an opinion on politics, business, love, or any other choice that involves other human beings, remember that PROJECTION BIAS will powerfully tempt you to believe that everyone in the room AGREES WITH YOU. Don’t assume. Take the time to ask others to share their unequivocal thoughts. Expect to have your certainties challenged and your mind blown.