Spotlight effect

We think we are noticed/thought about by others way more than we actually are.


The reason for the spotlight effect is the innate tendency to forget that although one is the centre of one's own world, one is not the centre of everyone else's. This tendency is especially prominent when one does something atypical.


  • Socially phobic people enter social situations in a heightened self-focused state. This self-focused state makes it difficult for individuals to set aside public and private self-knowledge to focus on the task.
  • Individuals tend to overestimate the extent to which their contributions make an impact on those around them.