Here’s an interesting sentence I came across in a job posting. It said “Please do not apply if you suffer from Lake Wobegon effect.” Of course I had no clue what that was, so I had to google.
Turns out its pretty simple. It refers to the bias that most human beings think they are better than average…at everything. If you are put in a room of people, say your classmates, the chances are that you think you are better than them on average at speaking, leadership, scoring marks, understanding concepts etc. Operating word being “on average”.
Sounds cool, but mathematically, it is not a fallacy. The example here proves this – If four people score 8/10 on a test and one scores 3/10, then the average or mean score in that five-person group is 7/10, and a majority are indeed above average.
From a personal standpoint, it doesn’t matter what one thinks of themselves. But it is possible their self-assessments could be far from the truth. And that’s what we need to guard against, else woe will begin, not be-gone! Best to periodically question ourselves if there’s room for improvement, and to keep working towards that. No need to compare with others, but we can compare with our own past selves and see if we are making progress.
And for anyone who is hiring and reading this, please don’t put such statements in the job postings. Feels so condescending! 🙂