Does Illusion of Control Have a Function to Appeal to Others?

  • Ryo Oda Nagoya Institute of Technology
  • Shotaro Ono Nagoya Institute of Technology
  • Shuhei Wada Nagoya Institute of Technology
Keywords: illusion of control, self-deception, module, praise seeking, rejection avoidance


Illusion of control is a form of self-deception in which individuals overestimate their ability to control events and have inappropriately higher expectations of success than is justified by objective probability. It is unclear why this illusion occurs in cases where obtaining accurate information is adaptive. The module hypothesis posits that obtaining accurate information and signaling one’s usefulness involve distinct modules. These modules are in operation separately when it is important to make accurate decisions and when it is advantageous to signal one’s own usefulness to others. According to this hypothesis, the illusion of control is involved in signaling one’s ability to control events. We examined this in the context of individual differences. We measured the sense of control in a task in which performance was randomly determined and manipulation had no effect. Then, we analyzed the correlations of sense of control with the degree of praise seeking and need to avoid rejection. In contrast to the hypothesis, our results demonstrated that the degree of praise seeking and need to avoid rejection were not associated with the sense of control.

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