US News: Upper classes really do think they are better than other people, according to a study - - PressFrom - United Kingdom

US NewsUpper classes really do think they are better than other people, according to a study

20:35  20 may  2019
20:35  20 may  2019 Source:

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In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is .

Upper classes really do think they are better than other people, according to a study © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

People of higher social standing believe they are better than their lower-class counterparts, research suggests.

And this overconfidence can then be misinterpreted as them being more competent - even if this is not necessarily true - in situations such as job interviews, according to a study.

Researchers in the United States and Singapore carried out four experiments to look at the link between class and confidence and how they might affect the perception of a person’s abilities.

More confidence

In one test, they found that people with more education, more income and a higher perceived social class had an exaggerated belief that they would perform better than others.

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In two others, those from a higher social class thought they had done better than others but when the team examined their actual performances this was not the case.

The fourth test similarly suggested that people from higher classes were more confident but researchers also found this overconfidence was misinterpreted by others as greater competence.

“Advantages beget advantages,” said lead author Peter Belmi from the University of Virginia.

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“Those who are born in upper-class echelons are likely to remain in the upper class and high-earning entrepreneurs disproportionately originate from highly educated, well-to-do families.

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“Our research suggests that social class shapes the attitudes that people hold about their abilities and that, in turn, has important implications for how class hierarchies perpetuate from one generation to the next.”

Dr Belmi said overconfidence in people of higher class could be partially due to differences in values between the middle and working classes.

"In the middle class, people are socialized to differentiate themselves from others, to express what they think and feel and to confidently express their ideas and opinions, even when they lack accurate knowledge," he said.

'Findings challenge belief that everybody thinks they are better'

"By contrast, working-class people are socialized to embrace the values of humility, authenticity and knowing your place in the hierarchy.

"These findings challenge the widely held belief that everybody thinks they are better than the average.

"Our results suggest that this type of thinking might be more prevalent among the middle and upper classes."

The study has been published by the American Psychological Association in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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