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Average Americans Think They’re Smarter Than the Average American
NationalJournal ^ | May 12, 2014 | Marina Koren

Posted on 05/14/2014 10:22:17 AM PDT by dsc

Forget being smarter than a fifth-grader. Most Americans think they’re smarter than everyone else in the country.

Fifty-five percent of Americans think that they are smarter than the average American, according to a new survey by YouGov, a research organization that uses online polling. In other words, as YouGov cleverly points out, the average American thinks that he or she is smarter than the average American.

A humble 34 percent of citizens say they are about as smart as everyone else, while a dispirited 4 percent say they are less intelligent than most people.

Men (24 percent) are more likely than women (15 percent) to say they are “much more intelligent” than the average American. White people are more likely to say the same than Hispanic and black people.

So, this many smart people must mean that, on the whole, the United States ranks pretty high in intelligence, right?

Not quite. According to the survey, just 44 percent of Americans say that Americans are “averagely intelligent.” People who make less than $40,000 a year are much more likely to say that their fellow Americans are intelligent, while those who make more than $100,000 are far more likely to say that Americans are unintelligent.

The results are not surprising. Western cultures have a habit of inflating their self-worth, past research has shown. The most competent individuals also tend to underestimate their ability, while incompetent people overestimate it. Not out of arrogance, but of ignorance—the worst performers often don’t get negative feedback. In this survey, 28 percent of high school graduates say they are “slightly more intelligent” than average, while just 1 percent of people with doctoral degrees say they are “much more intelligent.”

Of course, a Ph.D. doesn’t necessarily measure intelligence, nor does how much money you make. Those factors, along with gender and race, may be better indicators of humblebrag ability than brainpower.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2014polls; arrogance; education; intelligence; leftism
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Maybe I'm just below average, but it seems to me that this is *brilliant*.

What are the social, economic, and political consequences of convincing people who are dull-normal at best, and downright stupid a lot of the time, that they are just as smart as everyone else? And then urging them to vote?

How can a group of people prosper if the stupid are not willing to be led by the dull, the dull by the bright, or the bright by the brilliant? And why would they accept being led if they thought they themselves were as smart as the brilliant--or at least the bright.

It's farging brilliant! (<-- That is the only exclamation point I have used this year.) It's a virus, analagous to a computer virus, that will destroy a functioning society if successfully introduced into the cognosphere.

My mind is blown. Or maybe I'm just one of the stupid, drooling through life in thrall to delusions of adequacy.

1 posted on 05/14/2014 10:22:17 AM PDT by dsc
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To: dsc

Half the country is below average.................


2 posted on 05/14/2014 10:23:10 AM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: dsc

I just think I’m smarter than liberals but that’s not saying much.


3 posted on 05/14/2014 10:23:22 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: dsc

I’m average too.


4 posted on 05/14/2014 10:24:13 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: dsc

The popularity of Reality shows convinces me...


5 posted on 05/14/2014 10:24:40 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: dsc

An interesting problem in Bayesian (subjective) probability. When all is said and done, the average has to be average!


6 posted on 05/14/2014 10:24:52 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: dsc
As Thomas Sowell says: Intelligence is not wisdom.
7 posted on 05/14/2014 10:26:16 AM PDT by ComputerGuy (HM2/USN M/3/3 Marines RVN '66-'67)
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To: All

Yes, yes, but what about the scheme of introducing this belief through the education system, in the effort to harm this country?


8 posted on 05/14/2014 10:27:50 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

Full Title:

Average Americans Think They’re Smarter Than the Average American, on Average


9 posted on 05/14/2014 10:28:19 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Red Badger

Some animals are more average than others.


10 posted on 05/14/2014 10:28:45 AM PDT by MtnClimber (Just doing laps around the sun and shaking my head that progressives can believe what they do!)
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To: dsc

“... while those who make more than $100,000 are far more likely to say that Americans are unintelligent.”

That is the way people in that income bracket make a lot of their money. The guy buying a coke and a bag of chips for $5 is not so smart - but the guy who owns the store selling to him?


11 posted on 05/14/2014 10:28:47 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: dsc
It's a virus ... that will destroy a functioning society

It seems to be working quite well in the USA.

12 posted on 05/14/2014 10:30:34 AM PDT by meadsjn
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To: dsc

Average *liberal* Think They’re Smarter Than the Average American see Obama voters.


13 posted on 05/14/2014 10:31:29 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: dsc
I don't care how "smart" anyone is...just telling the truth is good enough for me. That pretty much sums up what I think of a person.

FMCDH(BITS)

14 posted on 05/14/2014 10:34:04 AM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: dsc

Umm..., 55% is pretty close to 50%, so what’s the problem? And if the average is skewed by larger numbers at the lower extremes, then 55% might even be too low.

The author obviously belongs on the left side of the intelligence graph.


15 posted on 05/14/2014 10:34:08 AM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: MtnClimber

There’s a reason people are on the Left side of the Bell curve.................


16 posted on 05/14/2014 10:34:35 AM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: ComputerGuy

Exactly. And neither are either of those knowledge. People conflate all of them. So what did those polled think “intelligence” is?


17 posted on 05/14/2014 10:35:16 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Red Badger

Yes, and that half which is below average makes up the majority of the Democrat Party.

Of course, I think I am above the average in intelligence. It stands to reason. I majored in sciences at the University level; my IQ measured above average; and I am a conservative.

The last reason actually proves that I am above average in intelligence. It goes without any more evidence that the average Freeper IQ is in the upper half of the population.


18 posted on 05/14/2014 10:35:40 AM PDT by Gumdrop (~)
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To: dsc

Most people think everything they know is everything there is to know. I’ve had managers who had competent people working for them and assumed that because the work was being well done that anybody could do it. Those are people who do not know what they do not know. That’s a special level of ignorance. Others feel that because they’re extremely competent on one subject, oral surgery, for example, that they are equally competent at everything else, piloting a plane for example. (More doctors are killed flying a plane than any other profession.)


19 posted on 05/14/2014 10:35:54 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: VanShuyten

Thanks. I’m glad I read all they way down before posting.

Based on this study, only 5% of Americans think they’re smarter than they are. That’s actually pretty good perception.


20 posted on 05/14/2014 10:36:06 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dsc

Well, the point of the scheme is to deceive people about the adequacy of their education. The truth is that elites fear education, and want the unwashed to possess only enough education to perform their assigned tasks. Excessive information or reasoning skills only lead to awkward questions, and then the trouble starts.


21 posted on 05/14/2014 10:37:10 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: dsc
Most Americans think they’re smarter than everyone else in the country.

Flatly untrue. If I'm smarter than everybody else, I'm the smartest person in the country.

That wasn't the question at all.

Marina Koren is apparently one of the 5% who over-estimates her intelligence.

22 posted on 05/14/2014 10:38:04 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dsc

In most measurable statistics, the distribution shows a preponderance at or near the average. The image of a bell-shaped curve is invoked. The highest point in the curve is where the average is, and thus most people are at or near the average. As you go towards smarter or stupider, you get fewer and fewer represented. Thus, the number of really, really smart people is very small, and luckily the number of really, really stupid people is also quite small.

Since most people are grouped around the middle of the bell-shaped curve, it is understandable that many of them might mistakenly believe they are closer to the smart end than the stupid end. It doesn’t take much to be just a little above average, and being a statistical measure, most people have not had their stupidity quantified. They don’t have tests for stupidity. They used to give IQ tests, but people who scored well made the others feel bad, who then beat up on the high scorers. I was one of those who got beaten up on.

Obviously, from the vocabulary utilized in this post, and the cogent analysis of the subject at hand, it can be inferred that, indeed, I actually AM smarter than average.


23 posted on 05/14/2014 10:38:15 AM PDT by webheart (We are all pretty much living in a fiction.)
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To: dsc

I have to disagree with your premises if you read the summary.

“people who are dull-normal at best, and downright stupid a lot of the time, that they are just as smart as everyone else?”

Apparently many who are not so IQ and the groups often thought of/treated as less IQ actually do think themselves lower. So maybe your ideas don’t quite gel here.


24 posted on 05/14/2014 10:39:04 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Sherman Logan

ah know i is.


25 posted on 05/14/2014 10:41:21 AM PDT by old gringo
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To: dsc

Smarter is another one of those words that has so many definitions that it is practically meaningless.


26 posted on 05/14/2014 10:42:25 AM PDT by oldbrowser (This looks like a make it or break it point for America.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

Well, at this stage of my life, I can say that all the things I see today are just variations on a theme I figured out long ago. I don’t know if that makes me smart, wise, intelligent or what.


27 posted on 05/14/2014 10:44:57 AM PDT by ComputerGuy (HM2/USN M/3/3 Marines RVN '66-'67)
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To: Red Badger

People of below average intelligence who think they are the smartest people on the planet.

Like, for example...oh, I dunno....a certain fellow who was born in Kenya, grew up in Hawaii, and ended up going into politics in Chicago?


28 posted on 05/14/2014 10:46:28 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: oldbrowser

Quite right.

Saw a local news program where a mom was objecting strongly to mistreatment of her Downs Syndrome daughter at school.

One thing she said stuck with me. “Just because she’s retarded, it doesn’t mean she’s stupid.!”

Uhhh, actually that’s pretty much exactly what it means, for some definitions of “stupid.”

But not necessarily others.


29 posted on 05/14/2014 10:47:56 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dsc

The term “smarter” is subjective. Does it mean IQ? Does it mean superior knowledge is one clearly defined area, or perhaps a dollop of knowledge in many areas? Perhaps it means street smarts.

The woman with the free Obama phone and Obama bennies who called the radio show in Texas thinks that all but the wealthiest working stiffs aren’t as smart as she is.

Unless you define “smart”, people are going to be inclined to favor their own strengths in their self-asessments. The results of the survey may not be off.


30 posted on 05/14/2014 10:50:00 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I'm a Contra" -- President Ronald Reagan)
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To: Gen.Blather

Even pilots?


31 posted on 05/14/2014 10:52:24 AM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: webheart

Technically speaking, however, exactly 50% of the population is above average IQ.

Although it is very difficult, impossible really, to accurately determine whether someone has an IQ of 99 or 101.

Similar problems apply out at the ends of the scale. For all practical purposes, comparative IQ becomes more or less meaningless above something like 145 or 160. We just can’t measure it accurately in those ranges.


32 posted on 05/14/2014 10:52:38 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dsc
the average American thinks that he or she is smarter than the average American.

What is scary and appalling is that average libtards not only have only average intelligence, but also lack basic knowledge. Yet, they are able to form pressure groups that are able to convince corrupt politicians to do irrational things that end up destroying the country.

33 posted on 05/14/2014 10:53:10 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: webheart

Maybe we should develop a test to measure SQ...


34 posted on 05/14/2014 10:54:06 AM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: Red Badger
"Half the country is below average................."

Not true, though it is possible. Half the country is below "median" per the definition.

35 posted on 05/14/2014 10:54:53 AM PDT by Dalberg-Acton
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To: dsc

Just because you’re educated doesn’t mean you’re smart. It just means you’re educated.

Told this to a snot nosed fighter pilot one time when he was quite dismissive of his ground crew...it took him a while to figure it out.

To me, one can be either or both...depends on the person how they want to go through life.


36 posted on 05/14/2014 10:55:14 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Like, for example...oh, I dunno....a certain fellow who was born in Kenya, was educated in Indonesia and Pakistan, grew up in Hawaii, attended some of the most expensive universities in the US at no cost, and ended up going into politics in Chicago?..............oh, THAT guy....................


37 posted on 05/14/2014 10:59:26 AM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: WayneS

“Even pilots?”

Are you asking that if a pilot is a competent pilot that he may think he’s competent at everything else? It depends on the person. I, for example, know instantly if I’m qualified on any given subject. But people who don’t know what they don’t know will assume that whatever view they have on that subject is the only true view.

According to Thomas Lipmann in “Public Opinion” we all operate on the picture of reality in our heads and not on reality itself. We have an opinion on, say, gay marriage and may know nothing beyond what we’ve heard on CNN while only half listening. To that person his is the only opinion on the subject. Others know there are many complex views and they’ve read several articles and could argue the subject on TV against a proponent and tie that guy in knots. But both of these people are operating not on “reality” but on their picture of reality. (One of them, however, may have a much more accurate picture of the societal cost and long term impacts.)


38 posted on 05/14/2014 11:00:33 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: dsc
We've become Lake Woebegone "where all the children are above average."
39 posted on 05/14/2014 11:01:16 AM PDT by Menehune56 ("Let them hate so long as they fear" (Oderint Dum Metuant), Lucius Accius (170 BC - 86 BC))
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To: dsc
Average IQ by Country
40 posted on 05/14/2014 11:01:31 AM PDT by Dalberg-Acton
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To: dsc
Average Americans Think They’re Smarter Than the Average American

I'd have to say that the average guy on the street is smarter than everyone in DC combined.

41 posted on 05/14/2014 11:04:07 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ("Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle?" - Patrick Henry, 1775)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

Agreed. To them, “intelligence” is getting over on someone else, like Uncle Sugar.


42 posted on 05/14/2014 11:06:59 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: webheart

LOL!!


43 posted on 05/14/2014 11:09:24 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: dsc

They should’ve broken this down by liberals/conservatives.


44 posted on 05/14/2014 11:09:43 AM PDT by fuzzylogic (welfare state = sharing consequences of poor moral choices among everybody)
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To: dsc

I’m not your average American amigo ...


45 posted on 05/14/2014 11:11:19 AM PDT by BuddaBudd (F U B O)
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To: Gen.Blather

No.

I was asking if doctors die in plane crashes at a higher frequency than any other profession, even pilots.


46 posted on 05/14/2014 11:11:37 AM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: Gen.Blather

PS - Also, it was intended as a joke...


47 posted on 05/14/2014 11:12:27 AM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: dsc

Wat u say?


48 posted on 05/14/2014 11:15:47 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: dsc

If anyone wants to read something amusing on this topic, read:

https://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~suh/metacognition.pdf


49 posted on 05/14/2014 11:19:55 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Gen.Blather
There are things that we know, then there are things we know we don't know and there are things that we don't know that we don't know, but there is always a liberal ready to explain it for us.

It isn’t that Liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Ronald Reagan


50 posted on 05/14/2014 11:27:41 AM PDT by itsahoot (Voting for a Progressive RINO is the same as voting for any other Tyrant.)
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