Illusion Of Transparency

The illusion of transparency is a cognitive bias in which people tend to overestimate how well their mental state is perceived and understood by others.

The observer's illusion of transparency is the overestimation of how well a person understands the mental states of others. This bias is similar to the illusion of symmetrical insight.

For example, you are very nervous about giving a speech in front of a large group of people. The illusion of transparency may occur if you perceive the audience as being hyper aware of your nervousness and noticing every slip up and tremble in your voice, every tiny slip up in speech. In actuality, audiences don't notice minor things such as this to the degree the speaker thinks they are. In regards to the observer's illusion of transparency, it is impossible to truly and fully understand another person's emotional state even if you are good at reading emotions. When trying to empathize instead of saying "I understand how you feel" replace that statement with something more neutral like "I can't imagine how you feel."

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