This theory suggests that when a person focuses exclusively on their own preferred position, they are more likely to overestimate their popularity and thus fall victim to the false consensus effect. [15] This is because this position is the only one in their immediate consciousness. Implementing action that will promote the position will make it clearer and increase the consensus effect. However, if more positions are presented to the individual, the degree of inconsistency could decrease considerably. [15] For example, if you are very concerned about the environment, you will probably be more likely to overestimate the number of people who are also very concerned about environmental issues. The tendency to overestimate how many other people agree with us is known to social psychologists as a false consensual effect. This kind of cognitive bias makes people believe that their own values and ideas are “normal” and that the majority of people share those views. Suppose Jim`s Facebook News Feed is full of stories that promote a certain political position. Although this flow is managed by Jim to include people he knows who are influenced by an algorithm based on Jim`s behavior, he may overestimate the number of people who agree with this position. The concept of false consensual effect can also be extended to predictions about others. Belief in a favourable future is the belief that others will change their preferences and beliefs in accordance with their own.

[19] Belief in a favourable future suggests that people overestimate the extent to which other people, over time, will agree with their preferences and beliefs. In agreement with other studies, Mullen also observed greater erroneous consensus effects for those whose responses were in the minority. The few who knew the answer to a difficult question were particularly likely to overestimate the percentage of others who shared their esoteric knowledge. This was also the case when people tried to correctly guess the percentage of spectators who knew or did not know something.