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The better-than-average effect in comparative self-evaluation: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis

The better-than-average effect in comparative self-evaluation: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis
The better-than-average effect in comparative self-evaluation: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis
The better-than-average-effect (BTAE) is the tendency for people to perceive their abilities, attributes, and personality traits as superior compared to their average peer. This article offers a comprehensive review of the BTAE and the first quantitative synthesis of the BTAE literature. We define the effect, differentiate it from related phenomena, and describe relevant methodological approaches, theories, and psychological mechanisms. Next, we present a comprehensive meta-analysis of BTAE studies, including data from 124 published articles, 291 independent samples, and over 950,000 participants. Results indicated that the BTAE is robust across studies (dz = 0.78, CI [0.71, 0.84]), with little evidence of publication bias. Further, moderation tests suggested that the BTAE is larger in the case of personality traits than abilities, positive as opposed to negative dimensions, and in studies that (1) use the direct rather than the indirect method, (2) involve many rather than few dimensions, (3) sample European-Americans rather than East-Asians (especially for individualistic traits), and (4) counterbalance self and average peer judgments. Finally, the BTAE is moderately associated with self-esteem (r = .34) and life satisfaction (r = .33). Discussion highlights theoretical and empirical implications.
0033-2909
118-149
Zell, E.
e09e9c48-aaeb-42a1-909c-a3d34bdd0f4c
Strickhourser, J.E.
cb9a98b5-7ba0-4520-8ee2-c4b09fec8067
Sedikides, C.
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Alicke, M.D.
f0e9afd2-1f51-4e6e-80d6-7a88421ac578
Zell, E.
e09e9c48-aaeb-42a1-909c-a3d34bdd0f4c
Strickhourser, J.E.
cb9a98b5-7ba0-4520-8ee2-c4b09fec8067
Sedikides, C.
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Alicke, M.D.
f0e9afd2-1f51-4e6e-80d6-7a88421ac578

Zell, E., Strickhourser, J.E., Sedikides, C. and Alicke, M.D. (2020) The better-than-average effect in comparative self-evaluation: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 146 (2), 118-149. (doi:10.1037/bul0000218).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The better-than-average-effect (BTAE) is the tendency for people to perceive their abilities, attributes, and personality traits as superior compared to their average peer. This article offers a comprehensive review of the BTAE and the first quantitative synthesis of the BTAE literature. We define the effect, differentiate it from related phenomena, and describe relevant methodological approaches, theories, and psychological mechanisms. Next, we present a comprehensive meta-analysis of BTAE studies, including data from 124 published articles, 291 independent samples, and over 950,000 participants. Results indicated that the BTAE is robust across studies (dz = 0.78, CI [0.71, 0.84]), with little evidence of publication bias. Further, moderation tests suggested that the BTAE is larger in the case of personality traits than abilities, positive as opposed to negative dimensions, and in studies that (1) use the direct rather than the indirect method, (2) involve many rather than few dimensions, (3) sample European-Americans rather than East-Asians (especially for individualistic traits), and (4) counterbalance self and average peer judgments. Finally, the BTAE is moderately associated with self-esteem (r = .34) and life satisfaction (r = .33). Discussion highlights theoretical and empirical implications.

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Zell Strickhouser Sedikides Alicke 2019_ - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 22 October 2019
Published date: February 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435685
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435685
ISSN: 0033-2909
PURE UUID: 34ecb416-3ee2-47d0-a0f5-ca21c2dd5a75

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Date deposited: 18 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 18:39

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Contributors

Author: E. Zell
Author: J.E. Strickhourser
Author: C. Sedikides
Author: M.D. Alicke

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