Explicating the third-person perception (TPP) as a cognitive fallacy in the process of comparative social judgment of media effects, we propose that not all self–other perceptual gaps in media effects should be considered as TPP. When there is reasonably valid and accurate information regarding self vis-à-vis others on media consumption and vulnerability to media influence, the associated self–other gaps in media effects are not exaggerations, hence, not TPP. TPP results from cognitive biases in information retrieval and application in the process of comparative social judgments. Such biases are in the forms of self-other information differential, assimilation, contrast, and anchoring effects. Caveats in interpretation of extant evidence and implications for future TPP research are discussed.
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