Tag Archives: social psychology

Quote for the Day – The Lake Wobegon Effect – We Are All Above-Average

When drivers rated their ability behind the wheel, about three-quarters thought they were better than average. Strangely, those who had been in an auto accident were more likely to rate themselves as better drivers than did those who driving record was accident-free.

Even stranger: In general, most people rate themselves as being less likely than others to overrate their abilities. These inflated self-ratings reflect the ‘better-than-average’ effect, which has been found for just about any positive trait, from competence and creativity to friendliness and honesty.

~ Daniel Goleman, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (2013), p. 74

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority

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Filed under Books, Psychology

Book notice: Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness

This is the kind of popular psych tome that journalists wish they had the scholarly knowledge to write but can’t and the kind of scholarly book that psychologists wish they had the wisdom and wit to write but don’t. Gilbert is easy to read, hilarious, insightful, and generally sounds like the kind of person you’d like to either take a class or drink beer with. Scientific yet down-to-earth, Gilbert guides the reader through exciting psychological research in the social sciences while sharing analogies from his own, often funny and relatable life experience . Did I mention this book is full of wisdom? It’d be easy to dismiss Stumbling on Happiness as just another pop psych book reporting on the newest glut of psych experiments, but it’s so much more than you’d expect from the New York Times Best-seller Title © and dust-jacket blurbs. A rare gem. 5/5

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Quote of the Day – The Power and Limit of Introspection

Introspection is not fully inept. People do know the contents of their minds. That is, they do know what they think, what their attitudes are, what their emotions are. Introspection works fine as a way of knowing what the current contents of one’s mind are. But people do not know how they arrived at those contents. A sincere answer to ‘What are you feeling right now?” is likely to be accurate, whereas a sincere answer to ‘Why do you feel that way?” is much less reliable.

~Roy Baumeister, The Cultural Animal, p. 220-221

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Filed under Consciousness, Psychology