False Consensus Effect

June 15, 2008

Posted in Web Industry.

Now it’s time for another Tales from a Psychologist

“The false consensus effect is the tendency for people to project their way of thinking onto other people.”

In other words, if you believe something you’ll assume that most people would agree with you.

This has dangerous implications for those in charge of creating software and websites. If you’re developing for the common user, you have to be extra careful. After all, you’re not the common user. Software developers often assume that users know how to interact with their software just because the developer does.

Remember this for the next time that you hear someone claim that nobody scrolls. Or that everyone knows you can click the logo in the header to get to the homepage.