Science Says Stop Infecting Other People With the ‘Better-Than-Average’ Effect

You’re probably familiar with the famous survey where more than 80 percent of respondents said they were above-average drivers, even though that’s mathematically impossible. And even though all of the respondents had, at some point in their lives, been injured in car accidents. (In fact, another study found that less than 1 percent of respondents considered themselves “worse than average.”)

Findings like that are easy to laugh at… until you realize that most people think they’re above-average at almost everything. A meta-analysis of a number of studies shows that people rate themselves as above average in creativity, intelligence, dependability, athleticism, honesty, friendless… provide people with a survey about almost any trait and teh vast majority will rate themselves as above average.

Social psychologists call it the “better-than-average effect.” Ask me to rate myself — in anything — in terms of basically anything, and I’ll be convinced I’m above average. (Even

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