Do humans over-inflate their own abilities?

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Offline thedoc

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Do humans over-inflate their own abilities?
« on: 15/09/2011 11:10:55 »
Humans have evolved to develop an over-inflated sense of our own abilities, scientists have discovered. This bullish belief in ourselves is biologically beneficial, so long as there is uncertainty in the abilities of others, and the wins are worth it...

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« Last Edit: 15/09/2011 11:10:55 by _system »


Offline etrino

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Do humans over-inflate their own abilities?
« Reply #1 on: 21/09/2011 19:13:33 »
Take a hundred numbers, say 94 10s and 6 8s. What's the average? 9.88? Right! Now, what fraction of the numbers is above the average? 94%? It can't be, because Dr. Chris said that's impossible!


Offline chris

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Do humans over-inflate their own abilities?
« Reply #2 on: 21/09/2011 19:36:24 »
The way to calculate an average is not under debate; instead the crux of the story is that 94% of those surveyed described themselves as of "above average" teaching ability. Therefore, the point is that clearly the population perception of personal ability is biased towards the positive and this was the starting point for the model Johnson and Fowler created. They wanted to ask why this biological bent towards over-exaggeration exists and whether it confers an evolutionary advantage, which it appears to.

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« Reply #3 on: 23/09/2011 18:56:51 »
Chris, your point is well taken. Even to the casual observer, it is frighteningly true. If only all universities had 94% of their faculty rating (objectively) 10 for 10.