Two girls on a playground, their backs turned to us, are looking at another child in the distance.

Mind Reading 2.0: How others see you

It’s not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we’re meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. In the second installment of our Mind Reading 2.0 series, we look at how certain social illusions give us a distorted picture of ourselves.

For more of our Mind Reading 2.0 series, check out the first episode about how we try to understand the minds of others.

Additional Resources


The Thought Gap After Conversation: Underestimating the Frequency of Others’ Thoughts About Us, by Erica Boothy, Gus Cooney,and  Mariana Lee, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2021.

The Liking Gap in Groups and Teams, by Adam Mastroianni, Gus Cooney, and Erica Boothby, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2021.

Why a Simple Act of Kindness is Not as Simple as It Seems: Underestimating the Positive Impact of Our Compliments on Others, by Erica Boothby and Vanessa Bohns, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2021.

The Development of the Liking Gap: Children Older Than 5 Years Think That Partners Evaluate Them Less Positively Than They Evaluate Their Partners, by Wouter Wolf, Amanda Nafe, and Michael Tomasello, Psychological Science, 2021.

Do Conversations End When People Want Them To? by Adam Mastroianni, et. al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

The Liking Gap in Conversations: Do People Like Us More Than We Think? by Erica Boothby, Gus Cooney, and Margaret Clark, Psychological Science, 2018.

The World Looks Better Together: How Close Others Enhance Our Visual Experiences, Erica Boothby, et. al, Personal Relationships, 2017.

The Invisibility Cloak Illusion: People (Incorrectly) Believe They Observe Others More Than Others Observe Them, by Erica Boothby, Margaret Clark, and John Bargh, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2017.

Psychological Distance Moderates the Amplification of Shared Experience, by Erica Boothby, et. al, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2016.

Shared Experiences are Amplified, by Erica Boothby, Margaret S. Clark, and John A. Bargh, Psychological Science, 2014.

The Spotlight Effect in Social Judgment: An Egocentric Bias in Estimates of the Salience of One’s Own Actions and Appearance, by Thomas Gilovich, Victoria Husted Medvec, and Kenneth Savitsky, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000.


A hilarious scene from When Harry Met Sally

Children interrupt a BBC news interview

‘Isn’t that Trump Lawyer?’: A New York Times Reporter’s Accidental Scoop by Kenneth Vogel, The New York Times, 2017.


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