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The analysis seems to assume equivalence of "average person" and "average American"

Posted by LJZigerell on 15 Aug 2018 at 02:55 GMT

Heck et al. (2018) reported that: "Two surveys, weighted to be nationally representative (total N = 2,821), found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that they are more intelligent than average", and Heck et al. appear to interpret the more-than-50% estimate as indicating overconfidence: "The endurance of the smarter-than-average effect is consistent with the possibility that a tendency to overrate one's own abilities is a stable feature of human psychology". However, the item that participants were asked to respond to—"I am more intelligent than the average person"—did not direct participants to compare themselves to the average American, so a majority of U.S. residents rating themselves above the average person in intelligence is not self-evidently incorrect because "average person" could have been interpreted by at least some of the participants as "average person anywhere in the world".

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