You’re not as smart as you think you are
…but don’t worry, it’s a well known psychological effect known as ‘illusory superiority’.
We sent an anonymous survey round to Arena Media employees, asking: “Compared to your fellow employees, how intelligent are you?”
The results revealed the following:
- 49% ranked themselves as having either ‘above average’ or ‘well above average’ intelligence;
- 43% ranked themselves as having ‘average’ intelligence;
- 8% ranked themselves as having either ‘below average’ or ‘well below average’ intelligence.
Obviously, these results can’t be right. The intelligence has to be spread evenly around the average (or ‘normally distributed’ for those of you who are mathematically inclined.) The explanation for this is slightly confusing, so follow the next part carefully…
It was found that the ability to estimate another’s IQ is proportional to one’s own IQ. So…
- People with lower IQs are less able to judge the intelligence of others and overestimate their own IQ;
- While people with higher IQs are more able to judge others and thus are able to estimate their own position on the scale more accurately.
The phenomenon ‘illusionary superiority’ also explains why 93% of Americans think they are better than average drivers.