#4. Why Our Self-Assessment Might be a Delusion of Reality

Homer
It seems that Homer Simpson share more in common with humanity than we like to admit. Did you know that social psychologists found that in general, people rate themselves as more attractive that they really are?1

In my doctoral study of highly effective psychotherapists2, the results of an area investigated about therapists self-ratings of their Healing Involvement (HI) in therapy left us initially scratching our heads. Orlinsky and Ronnstead3 describes someone with high HI as someone who views themselves as personally invested, efficacious in relating with the client, affirming, and highly skilling, experiencing flow states in therapy, and employ constructive coping strategies. What we found was a negative relationship between their outcomes performance and HI rating. In other words, therapists who rated high on their HI scores were more likely to be less effective than their peers! How is this possible? Going further, the same group of therapists we studied, half of them rated their current effectiveness as above average. None rated below average. What’s more, these self-assessment of effectiveness ratings did not predictor their actual client outcomes. Continue reading