MCAT Flashcards

MCAT Flashcards: Self-Serving Bias

What is self-serving bias? Ken Tao is an MCAT expert and explains that it is altering perception of causality to preserve self-esteem, and when you attribute your own success to internal abilities and efforts, but with failures to external factors.


Full Transcription

In this flash card video, we’re going to go over “What is self-serving bias?”

Self-serving bias can be defined as altering perception of causality to preserve self-esteem. Now the key here in this definition is self-esteem. So what this means is, when something good happens, when a person has a success they are likely to explain that success using their internal factors.

For instance, I did well on this exam because I put in a lot of time and effort to prepare for it. At the same time if they encounter a failure they’re likely to explain those failures using external factors.

So for example, if they do poorly on an exam, they might say “Oh the professor is bad, they didn’t teach me very well.” So you can see in both cases with successes and failure, this person uses internal or external factors as necessary to preserve their self-esteem.

Ken Tao

Ken is nationally recognized as a premier MCAT mind. He has worked with thousands of undergraduate students as a graduate teaching assistant and MCAT instructor/tutor for the Princeton Review. At Princeton Review, Ken was the only tutor certified in all subjects, was one of the highest rated MCAT tutors ever and was a teacher trainer. Additionally, Ken worked to found Magoosh's MCAT division. He has written content for dozen's of MCAT books and guides. He is now the Director of MCAT at MedSchoolCoach

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