Americans think they are smarter than average

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By Shelley Spillman

A YouGov study released last week found that 55 percent of Americans think they are smarter than the average American, also citing that education and income influence one’s view of intelligence.

According to the YouGov study, 51 percent of people with post graduate degrees think they are “much more intelligent” than the average American.

Another interesting nugget, “poorer Americans are much more likely to say that Americans are, on the whole, intelligent while richer Americans are far more likely to say that Americans are unintelligent.”

It’s interesting that most Americans think they are smarter than average when educational studies show how the U.S. education is less superior to other countries.

A recent report by Pearson and the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the U.S. educational system as 14th best on earth for 2014.

According to the study, the top five for cognitive skills and educational attainment are: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Finland.

A 2010 psychological study called the Intelligence Compensation Theory found that less intelligent people are in some cases, adept at masking their lack of intelligence by appearing more methodical, organized, thorough and persistent.

Basically, all this information amounts to that Americans are great at lying to themselves about their intelligence.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country but boy do we make a sport of attempting to one-up the person next to us.

It’d be very interesting to find out how South Korea and Japan, the cited countries for the best educational systems, perceive their intelligence.

The economic factor of wealthier Americans ”are far more likely to say that Americans are unintelligent” is an interesting component, don’t you think?

Perhaps it means intelligence is more accurately measured by life experiences and exposure to other cultures.

I think we can all say that education and wisdom don’t always go hand-in-hand. Some of the most intelligent people I know don’t have college degrees but a great ability to problem solve and think on their feet that just can’t be taught.

It is very telling about our culture that the majority of people think they are smarter than average.

Browse your facebook feed or my personal favorite Buzzfeed’s “38 Yahoo questions that will destroy your faith in humanity,” which features gems such as “How do I unbake a cake?” and “If Batman’s parents died then how was he born?” and you will have serious doubts that 55 percent of Americans are actually smarter than average.

In my opinion, this study is a fine illustration of no matter how the U.S. ranks in educational systems or anything else, the U.S. will also rank number one in the world for confidence.