WEFOUNDThe Rest Is Illusion


In the field of social psychology , illusory superiority is a cognitive bias whereby a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities, in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other persons. As such, illusory superiority is one of many positive illusions , relating to the self , that are evident in the study of intelligence , the effective performance of tasks and tests, and the possession of desirable personal characteristics and personality traits.

The term illusory superiority first was used by the researchers Van Yperen and Buunk, in 1991, which also is known as the Above-average effect , the superiority bias , the leniency error , the sense of relative superiority , the primus inter pares effect , [1] and the Lake Wobegon effect . [2]

Illusory superiority has been found in individuals' comparisons of themselves with others in a wide variety of different aspects of life, including performance in academic circumstances (such as class performance, exams and overall intelligence), in working environments (for example in job performance ), and in social settings (for example in estimating one's popularity , or the extent to which one possesses desirable personality traits, such as honesty or confidence ), as well as everyday abilities requiring particular skill. [1]

Today, I was browsing through StumbleUpon, and I ran across this popular illusion that has been around for a while. The illusion is, that there are four shapes (as shown),

Comparing the upper and lower triangles (we’ll call them X and Y, respectively), we can see that X has an empty square that seemingly disappears when rearranged into Figure Y, yet at a glance, the size of X and Y in their entirety seem to be identical. However, since the area of the individual shapes have not changed, this simply cannot be possible! So let’s break it down and see exactly what is happening in between arrangements.

Our goal here is to prove that the area of triangles X and Y are not equal. There are a few different ways that we can do this, but what we will do in this case is calculate areas A and B outside of the triangle. If these triangles are, in fact, identical, then areas A and B should be exactly equal.

In the field of social psychology , illusory superiority is a cognitive bias whereby a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities, in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other persons. As such, illusory superiority is one of many positive illusions , relating to the self , that are evident in the study of intelligence , the effective performance of tasks and tests, and the possession of desirable personal characteristics and personality traits.

The term illusory superiority first was used by the researchers Van Yperen and Buunk, in 1991, which also is known as the Above-average effect , the superiority bias , the leniency error , the sense of relative superiority , the primus inter pares effect , [1] and the Lake Wobegon effect . [2]

Illusory superiority has been found in individuals' comparisons of themselves with others in a wide variety of different aspects of life, including performance in academic circumstances (such as class performance, exams and overall intelligence), in working environments (for example in job performance ), and in social settings (for example in estimating one's popularity , or the extent to which one possesses desirable personality traits, such as honesty or confidence ), as well as everyday abilities requiring particular skill. [1]


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