NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Self-Appreciation

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Everyone's Above Average: Ask Americans how they stand compared to their fellow countrymen, and in survey after survey, the vast majority rank themselves "above average" in such areas as driving skill, sexual prowess and general honesty. A recent study of English prisoners, published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, revealed that those miscreants think they, too, are in the upper half. They rate themselves above average (whether compared to Britons in prison or in society at large) in compassion, generosity, dependability, trustworthiness and honesty. In fact, the only trait on the University of Southampton survey on which the criminals failed to rank themselves as better than the typical Brit was "law-abidingness." On that trait, the inmates rated themselves merely as "average."

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