The self-enhancement effect

Most People Consider Themselves to Be Morally Superior

In Garrison Keillor’s Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon, “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” Though the town and its characters are fictional, part of the enduring appeal of the News from Lake Wobegon is the way that Keillor captures the human experience—right down to the fact that all the children are above average. Indeed, decades of research confirm that we are all above average—at least in our own minds. When comparing ourselves versus other people, we tend to rate ourselves more highly on a host of positive measures, including intelligence, ambition, friendliness, and modesty (ha!). This finding is sometimes called the “self-enhancement” effect. ….[READ]

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