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Persuade by Philip Hesketh

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10 The power of belief and the ‘illusory correlation’

Thomas Gilovich is Professor of Psychology at Cornell University. He's spent a lifetime researching ‘behavioural economics’.

In a survey he conducted amongst high school seniors in the USA, he and his colleagues found that 70% of the students thought they were above average in leadership ability and only 2% thought they were below average. In terms of ability to get along with others, all students thought they were above average, 60% thought they were in the top 10% and 25% thought they were in the top 1%.

Kids eh?

But in another survey 94% of university professors believed they were better at their job than their colleagues.

So it's not just young students.

Most people think they are ...

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