Only 4% Of Americans Think They Have Below Average Intelligence


americaForget being smarter than a fifth-grader. Most Americans think they’re smarter than everyone else in the country.

Fifty-five percent of Americans think that they are smarter than the average American, according to a new survey by YouGov, a research organization that uses online polling. In other words, as YouGov cleverly points out, the average American thinks that he or she is smarter than the average American.

A humble 34 percent of citizens say they are about as smart as everyone else, while a dispirited 4 percent say they are less intelligent than most people.

Men (24 percent) are more likely than women (15 percent) to say they are “much more intelligent” than the average American. White people are more likely to say the same than Hispanic and black people.
So, this many smart people must mean that, on the whole, the United States ranks pretty high in intelligence, right?

Not quite. According to the survey, just 44 percent of Americans say that Americans are “averagely intelligent.” People who make less than $40,000 a year are much more likely to say that their fellow Americans are intelligent, while those who make more than $100,000 are far more likely to say that Americans are unintelligent.

The results are not surprising. Western cultures have a habit of inflating their self-worth, past research has shown. The most competent individuals also tend to underestimate their ability, while incompetent people overestimate it.


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  1. “55% think they’re smarter than the average American”, nu the correct amount of people above average (in any field) would be 49%, so what’s the big deal?

  2. For every day online, I see a ton of little chaperoned honors asking for someone to elucidate what simple words mean so that they can fit it in their 10th grade educational level. Still, all in all, we are a smart nation. If you have lower than average intelligence, it might be your upbringing, your genetics or just your future was not that great based on your learning.

    But still, keep the power in the schooling. At the very least try to read a few more books than the average joe. It might help you immensely.

  3. According to the article, smart people tend to underrate themselves, and the less intelligent tend to overrate how smart they are. So where did the 4% come from? Were they the smart people under rating themselves or the really dumb people who were also honest?


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