Most Americans Think They're Smarter Than Most Americans
55% say they've got above-average smarts in YouGov poll
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 6:19 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Americans don't think the country as a whole is all that bright, but they point the finger at other people instead of themselves. A new survey by YouGov finds that 55% of Americans consider themselves smarter than the average American. Meanwhile, just 25% say that Americans overall have above-average intelligence. The results aren't too surprising, given that "western cultures have a habit of inflating their self-worth," writes Marina Koren at the National Journal. "The most competent individuals also tend to underestimate their ability, while incompetent people overestimate it."

Men (24%) were more likely than women (15%) to consider themselves "much more intelligent" than the average American in the survey. One stat that caught the attention of Robyn Pennacchia at Death and Taxes is that rich people are significantly more likely than poor people to think Americans are stupid. "Which I suppose explains why they think they can get away with so much bulls---."

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Showing 3 of 78 comments
Chris Farley
May 17, 2014 4:40 PM CDT
Ignorance is not dumb or stupid. And parroting is not a sign of being smart.
disqus_fhwSu2cRQ4
May 16, 2014 8:00 AM CDT
By definition 49% of the people in the country are of below average intellegence. (the median point of 50% being the average breaking point) That makes the same percentage above average. Only the top 10% are considered gifted. These numbers don't change whether you're talking about Americans, Chinese, Bolivians or any other country or race. It's the same for any way you measure inlellegence . What this article really points out is at least 6% of the American population doesn't understand grade school math. If you're asking questions about how they measured it you're identifying which half you come from. (no not the top half) If you think you belong in the top half because of the political party you believe in you most likely have also have identified you're status in the lower group. If you think you can identify someone's IQ based on their TV viewing ummm no you can't.
Jon Q. Publix
May 16, 2014 7:22 AM CDT
... 55% of Americans consider themselves smarter than the average American. I think this is actually pretty good. Looking at it from a different angle, only 5% have an over inflated self image. Meanwhile, just 25% say that Americans overall have above-average intelligence. "Above-average" compared to what, the rest of the world combined? Other "developed" countries? This is a rather vague question but I was hoping for something closer to 5% again. The idea of "American exceptionalism" lives on. The question is, does it offer any practical benefit outside of politics? Or does it simply help perpetuate the "ugly American" stereotype?