First survey of its kind for 50 years finds most Americans still think they have above average intelligence

A systematic survey in the US of people’s beliefs about their own intelligence – the first for 50 years – has shown that was true then is also the case in the modern era: a majority of people think they are smarter than average.

The research, led by Patrick Heck from the Geisinger Health System and published in PLOS One, combined an online survey and phone survey, with each involving 750 people reflecting a cross-section of the US population, balanced in terms of sex, age, education levels and race.

Across both surveys, 65 per cent of participants agreed with the statement “I am more intelligent than the average person.” Around 70 per cent of men versus 60 per cent of women made the above-average claim, and a similar pattern was found in the young and old. There were also no clear racial differences.

Lol this is actually hilarious.

“Above average;” so I suppose a GPA of 3.5 or above. Did they ever make the Honor Roll? It’s not that hard to figure out where they stand. And consistency counts…

I’m not sure that’s a totally accurate measure of ‘above average’. It would exclude bright people who,for one reason or another, didn’t go to college/university.

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I’m smarter than the average bear . I’m not sure about average humans. :slight_smile:

Most people are uniformly intelligent or unintelligent. Some of us though are highly intelligent in some ways but much less intelligent in others.

“The Full Scale IQ is an averaging of these five scales, so it’s only meaningful if the scales are consistent. If a child is superior in verbal reasoning, but below average in visual spatial skills, the full scale number looks average. It’s akin to having an average body temperature because your hair is on fire while your feet are in a bucket of ice water.”

I think that I am as stupid as a worm, so that must mean that I am intelligent, according to this survey.

According to the Dunning–Kruger effect that’s the case !


I would say overall I’ve got a third rate mind in a fourth rate body. Intellectually though I’m like the curate’s egg. I struggle to apply any intelligence I have to day to day practical matters.

On forums I go on I always feel stupid compared to rather a lot of other people. I’m very sceptical about various pdocs etc writing over the years that I’m highly/very intelligent.

I’d bet that among seventeen year old guys 65 - 75% of them think they are a genius. I’ve thought that before, so I am not going to hold it against them. As long as they don’t get too obnoxious about it I don’t care. I have a pretty high tolerance for the obnoxious.

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