Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Kindness Survey and Illusory Superiority

A recent survey concerning kindness, conducted by the Singapore Kindness Movement, "found a significant gap between Singaporeans' self-perception on how they performed when it comes to graciousness versus their perception on how fellow citizens fared.

Forty-three per cent of those polled rated themselves high on graciousness, while only 15 per cent rated others likewise."

I fail to see how this is good research. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of psychology is aware of the effect of "illusory superiority", where people tend to rate themselves as better than average. 

To draw truly interesting and useful results, the survey should have included further controls to eliminate the influence of this psychological effect.

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