Egocentrism is the tendency to see reality as centered on oneself. Egocentrics are selfish, self-absorbed people who view their interests, ideas, and values as superior to everyone else's. All of us are affected to some degree by egocentric biases.
One cannot think clearly about what one is wrapped up in.
Egocentrism can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Two common forms are self-interested thinking and self-serving bias.
Self-interested thinking is the tendency to accept and defend beliefs that harmonize with one's self-interest. Almost no one is immune from self-interested thinking. Most doctors support legislation making it more difficult for them to be sued for malpractice; most lawyers do not. Most state university professors strongly support tenure, paid sabbaticals, low teaching loads, and a strong faculty voice in university governance; many state taxpayers and university administrators do not. Most factory workers support laws requiring advance notice of plant closings; most factory owners do not. Most American voters favor campaign finance reform; most elected politicians do not. Of course, some of these beliefs may be supported by good reasons. From a psychological standpoint, however, it is likely that self-interest plays at least some role in shaping the respective attitudes and beliefs.
Admit your faults. I would if I had any.
Self-interested thinking, however understandable it may seem, is a major obstacle to critical thinking. Everyone finds it tempting at times to reason that "this benefits me, therefore it must be good"; but from a critical thinking standpoint, such "reasoning" is a sham. Implicit in such thinking is the assumption that "What is most important is what / want and need." But why should I, or anyone else, accept such an arbitrary and obviously self-serving assumption? What makes your wants and needs more important than everyone else's? Critical thinking condemns such... [continues]
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