The Better-Than-Average Effect

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The better-than-average effect is the idea that people evaluate themselves more positively compared to how they evaluate other people. This essay explores the basis of how the better-than-average effect affects individuals by using a range of references as evidence. This essay will consider the arguments of Sedikides, C., Meek,R., Alicke, M.D., & Taylor, S. (2014) who explores how prisoners rate themselves on a number of personality characteristics compared to the general public. It will also discuss the arguments of Dunning, D., Johnson, K., Ehrlinger, J. & Kruger J (2003) who explore the negative implications of the better-than-average effect. Overall it will be argued that the better-than-average effect has a negative impact on individuals …show more content…
This means that people who rate themselves higher than their peers may be too blind sighted to realise their faults and therefore they can never improve or better themselves. Contrastingly, in Sedikides’ report, a positive implication to individuals was mentioned with the fact that unrealistically favourable self-views can instil the confidence needed to persevere at different tasks and thus provide the motivation required to overcome set backs. The fact that most people believe that they are better-than-average compared to their peers means that they have the self confidence in whatever task or job they do which therefore means that they would probably perform better than someone doing the same task who views themselves as being average or below average compared to their peers. There is research to support the view that the BTAE has negative implications on individuals; Kruger & Dunning (1999) said that at least in intellectual domains, students at the low end of the performance distributions are the most inaccurate at estimating task outcomes; suggesting that individuals who are objectively poor in behavioural domains exhibit self …show more content…
Their underestimation is usually statistically significant (Ehrlinger et al., 2003; Haun et al., 2000; Hodges et al., 2001; Kruger & Dunning, 1999). Top performers tend to have a relatively good sense of how well they perform in absolute terms, such as their raw score in the test, but they underestimate how their performance compares with that of others. They then tend to realise how unique and distinctive their performances are, providing more positive and accurate self-evaluations. This also supports how BTAE has negative implications on individuals as it can make people who are genuinely better-than-average underestimate their worth and talent which could therefore lead to low confidence and self esteem

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