Be honest about it. Deep down inside, you really do see yourself as morally superior to the average person.
It turns out that you’ve got a lot of company. Most of us think we are above average in a lot of things, especially when it comes to morality, says David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell University.
People see themselves as being fairer, more altruistic, more self-sacrificing, more moral than most others, according to numerous studies, Dunning says.
In short, most of us think we really are «holier than thou,» (I AM HOLIER THAN YOU) although we may not be willing to admit it. Most of us know we wouldn’t do the awful things that set us apart from those ordinary people who stumble along the way — all those folks who are just average.
There’s just one problem. Most of us can’t be above average. By its definition, average is the mathematical median, so the majority can’t be either above or below average.
So if most people see themselves as better than the average person, they have to be making one of two mistakes: Either they think they’re a lot better than they really are, or those other people out there aren’t as bad as they seem.
Dunning and a graduate psychology student, Nick Epley, set out to find out which error we are making. Are we really as good as we think we are?