The Better-Than-Average Bias

The tendency to think we're better-than-average at many things.

People generally consider themselves smarter, luckier, better-looking and more important than they really are. They regard themselves as exceptional and believe they will avoid the divorces, premature deaths or weight gains that befall everyone else. The link between people’s personal estimations and the not-so-flattering reality is sometimes perilously weak. To social psychologists, flawed self-assessment is the norm. People systematically misjudge their abilities, virtues, importance and future actions. And those erroneous views can endanger health, ruin relationships, ruin finances and cause other miseries.