Spotlight Effect and Unnecessary Anxiety

The concept of ”spotlight effect“; It was first described in 2000 by Thomas Gilovich, Victoria Husted Medvec and Kenneth Savitsky.

  “People tend to believe that the social spotlights shine more on themselves than they actually are.”

The spotlight effect, as defined by the researchers, is our erroneous assumption that other people pay us as much attention as we do ourselves. It is of course undeniable that there are situations where other people turn spot lights into us; but honestly, everyone is so busy in their own universe that the fact that most of us turn the lights on ourselves is ignored.

Barry Manilow T-shirt Experimenti

Researchers at Cornell University conducted an experiment in which 109 students were each asked to wear a Barry Manilow T-shirt into a room full of their peers.

The students felt self-conscious about wearing the T-shirt knowing that he was not the most popular artist on campus, and they estimated that at least hald of the observers noticed their choice in clothing.
However, they overestimated; only one-quarter of the observers noticed on average. Follow-up experiments yielded results that show that this exaggetation is commonly up to six times the percentage of the true observers.              

Source: Cyber Spying

In fact, “stage lights” focuses on the speaker who is on the stage or the person who wants to draw attention.
In everyday life, people feel that these spotlights are on it.

According to psychologist Nathan Heflig, this is basically the result of egocentrism.

“We are all the centers of our own universes. This is not to say that we are arrogant or that we value other than ourselves, but not to say that our entire existence is from our own experience and perspective. And we use these experiences to evaluate the world around us, including other people. they don’t know the stain you’re in, they’re also the center of their own universe, and they focus on something else in turn! “

Nathan A Heflick Ph.D.

Why does the spotlight effect increase our anxiety?

People naturally care about themselves. This importance is most likely to apply to first degree relatives.

In fact, the “spot light effect” is a misconception. We tried to explain this to you in the above sample studies. The fact that the effect of stage lights is a cause of concern can actually be directly related to the anxiety disorder.

People with social phobia, especially those with anxiety disorders, may be more concerned in this situation. One day you find yourself ugly, but you’re afraid to go outside, but in fact, your friends do not see much different than you saw yesterday.

These concerns can be seen more frequently in people with anxiety disorders.

There are many examples of “Spotlight Effect”.

  “Spotlight effect” has many examples in our daily life. We are exaggerating the level of attention that other people will display against changes that occur over time in our behavior and appearance.

Perhaps the best example of this situation, “bad hair day” is a phenomenon (Gilovich, Medvec & Savitsky, 2000, p. 211).

  • When we go to the movies alone.
  • Or eating at the restaurant alone.
  • When there are stains in our clothes.
  • If the zipper of our pants is open (!)

These examples can be reproduced. Maybe there are some examples you can give.

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