Over half of all Americans think that they are smarter than the other half (wait, what?).
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.
By definition, half of the population is smarter than the average member of that population, and half of the population is dumber than the average member of that population. That’s the way that statistics works.
What about the studies on the intelligence of average Americans? Well, it appears that the average American has an IQ of 98. If we assume a normal distribution, then half of all Americans have an IQ below 98 and the other half of all Americans have an IQ above 98.
The article that is the source for the quote above makes it seem like over half of all Americans are really full of themselves. In truth, only 5% of those who said that they were smarter than the average American are wrong. And the dispirited 4% are right. But the 34% who think that they are as smart as everyone else are deluding themselves. We need a term for these 39% who think that they are just as smart as, or smarter than, everyone else. Let’s just call them “liberals”.
And for the record, people with PhDs tend to overestimate their intelligence:
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 less intelligent.” Of course, a Ph.D. doesn’t necessarily measure intelligence, nor does how much money you make.
Tell that to your professor the next time he/she is talking about how smart they are. Just be sure to drop the class afterwards. People who like to get certificates that say they did something instead of actually doing something with their lives can be quite vindictive.
For the record, my IQ score is waaaaay above 98. And when I say waaaaay above, we’re talking at least 2 standard deviations over the mean of 98. This isn’t surprising to me, as the bulk of my ancestors were Austrian and Dutch (tied at #6 on the link to the IQ statistics). I guess I really shouldn’t mock those with average intelligence. There are many more of them, and they vote. That’s how we ended up with Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho as our President.
Update: for some reason, the link won’t show the YouTube video here on the blog. You will have to click on it to view it. Trust me, it’s worth it.