Positive bias in self-appraisals from friend’s perspective: an event-related potential study

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Abstract

The present study investigated how positive bias in self-appraisals is differentially modulated when taking a friend’s versus a stranger’s perspective. Reaction time and event-related potentials were recorded while the participants performed a self-descriptiveness task with positive and negative trait adjectives from one’s own perspective, a friend’s perspective, or a stranger’s perspective. The results showed that faster reaction times and reduced N400 amplitudes were induced by positive relative to negative words both in the self-perspective and friend-perspective conditions, but not in the stranger-perspective condition. This suggests that the perceived closeness between oneself and the other may modulate the neural basis of positive bias in self-appraisals during perspective taking.

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