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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Brachiosaurus

100% of people have picked up trash.

At school they tell everyone that they're special. They give trophies for participation, and for doing basic human duties. In middle school, I remember being given a reward because someone saw me throwing away a piece of trash. I was told that I was an "upstander, not a bystander" because I picked up some trash that wasn't mine. because I wouldn't just watch litter happen and not do anything about it. They tried to make me feel above average because I had an atom of motivation in me to use my opposable thumbs to move something about three feet into a trash can. They came up and gave me a free coupon for ice cream or something and a colorful sheet of paper with my name hurriedly misspelled on it. Guess where it went? The trash can.

Parents and teachers try so hard to make their children feel special, that their children believe it. What good does it do? It only makes the realization that they're not special even harder. It makes people feel like they are the protagonists in the universe, when they need to eventually accept the fact that they mean nothing, just like all the rest of mankind. Once we accept that, things are easier.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Brachiosaurus
100% of people have picked up trash.
At school they tell everyone that they're special. They give trophies for participation, and for doing basic human duties. In middle school, I remember being given a reward because someone saw me throwing away a piece of trash. I was told that I was an "upstander, not a bystander" because I picked up some trash that wasn't mine. because I wouldn't just watch litter happen and not do anything about it. They tried to make me feel above average because I had an atom of motivation in me to use my opposable thumbs to move something about three feet into a trash can. They came up and gave me a free coupon for ice cream or something and a colorful sheet of paper with my name hurriedly misspelled on it. Guess where it went? The trash can.

Parents and teachers try so hard to make their children feel special, that their children believe it. What good does it do? It only makes the realization that they're not special even harder. It makes people feel like they are the protagonists in the universe, when they need to eventually accept the fact that they mean nothing, just like all the rest of mankind. Once we accept that, things are easier.
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Riyer

focusing on different aspects

There are different aspects to people. Some people are fast at running, while some are not. Some people are good at math, and some aren't. The list goes on. Every person has certain aspects of themselves that they excel in, and certain aspects of themselves that they are pretty bad at. We are encouraged to focus on what we are great at; for example, if someone is amazing at tennis, they would take more classes and might turn professional. For this reason, people, when asked if they are above average, think about what they do in life; usually what they excel in. And thus, they would be above average in the field. That explains why 94% of people think they are above average; it's because they are above average in the field(s) they work in.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Riyer
focusing on different aspects
There are different aspects to people. Some people are fast at running, while some are not. Some people are good at math, and some aren't. The list goes on. Every person has certain aspects of themselves that they excel in, and certain aspects of themselves that they are pretty bad at. We are encouraged to focus on what we are great at; for example, if someone is amazing at tennis, they would take more classes and might turn professional. For this reason, people, when asked if they are above average, think about what they do in life; usually what they excel in. And thus, they would be above average in the field. That explains why 94% of people think they are above average; it's because they are above average in the field(s) they work in.
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by theoneminded

I think we should start with the definition of "average." Average is the rule. The majority. Average does not exist without a group where a pattern of common characteristics can emerge. When looking outward, we can easily identify who is average in the context of the group. However, we all live as individuals. When self evaluating, and looking inward, we see only our own differences and traits and often lack a true sense of the group. From there, I'd wager most of the time your answer depends on your level of self esteem instead of true self-awareness. 

Average is also synonymous with normal. As contradictory as it may seem, a part of being normal or average is being unique from other humans. Taking this simple fact into account, it is safe to assume that most of us are above average in some facet of our lives. 

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by theoneminded
I think we should start with the definition of "average." Average is the rule. The majority. Average does not exist without a group where a pattern of common characteristics can emerge. When looking outward, we can easily identify who is average in the context of the group. However, we all live as individuals. When self evaluating, and looking inward, we see only our own differences and traits and often lack a true sense of the group. From there, I'd wager most of the time your answer depends on your level of self esteem instead of true self-awareness. 
Average is also synonymous with normal. As contradictory as it may seem, a part of being normal or average is being unique from other humans. Taking this simple fact into account, it is safe to assume that most of us are above average in some facet of our lives. 
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by kakairis

Good is Mainstream

Hello.

I am writing this essay, because I believe I can be better that the twelve other entries submitted at this time.

I am also going to college because I believe that in the end, I can chase away and rid student debt with an exceptional job more efficiently than everyone else that has tried and failed in the past.

I go to work at a minimum wage, ludicrously average job. I can withstand this, simply because I know I’m better than most there.

Oh, and you guessed it. You know that lottery they run all the time? Sometimes they give away, like, approximately a billion dollars?? I’m going to win that too; because well, it just seems that I’m special.

I’m going to keep buying these treacherous, repulsive cigarettes and spend the amount of money equivalent to a car payment in a month. Don’t worry though; I’m exempt from developing Cancer. They won’t kill me. However, the guy next to me should stop. Just because I’m doing it, you shouldn’t do it too.

Equality. The entirety of the human race strives to be equal.

We have fought centuries upon time clashing and disputing over “special treatment” in human rights. We have protested, discriminated and shed a countless number of blood and harsh tears over this topic. What if naturally, we want to be “equal” for the daunting fear crawling in the back of our Egos? This fear is oozing with jealousy, hatred and an unsettling amount of controversy. Our minds seem to cringe when challenged or told that we are not good enough. What is good enough? How do you figure that we want to be considered just as good as the person next to us, whilst allowing a conceding ego to chant encouraging songs on how we are actually better than the majority of the population?

Pointless would be the act of living. In my perspective, this seems quite uncanny. Entitlement allows us to feel a prevalent presence of superiority to the person next to us. There isn’t a single person that enjoys failing. We all have this absurd drive to succeed within ourselves. I like to think of this as our will to be alive. If we did not feel a tangible purpose attached to our shell of our soul(s), there would be no life. We all consider ourselves above average, simply because if we all knew we were well below average, there would be no accomplishment or strive for betterment within ourselves.

Circumstances, talents and intelligence dance within the minds we each possess. We all are given a set of skills. Somewhere along the line, another person gave us a spark. Exhausted, we picked ourselves up to meet the leveling  eyes of another individual. Someone saw something in us; our family, a peer, a coach. They said that we could accomplish anything; they believed in us. Our egos digest this as validation and positivity. A spark in the blackness. If we were all truly, “above average” why would we naturally consume and allow validation and confirmation from other humans?

If our natural state detests the feeling of being less than equal to our human associates, but thoroughly enjoys toying with the idea that somehow we are better simultaneously; that leaves the majority of us at good. Not exceptional. Not remarkable in some sense. It leaves us very comparable. No brilliance lives in good. If you think about the act of insulting someone, why is it that it can be so degrading and wounding? If the majority of us truly believed and understood what it meant to be “above average,” nothing would touch us.

When people are asked if they believe they are above average, the statistic is 94% of the answer ‘yes’. Doesn’t that make the 6% the above average, if the average response is, ‘yes’? I’d like to meet with the sample size of the 6%. Just maybe, they hold all of the answers. I certainly don’t want to fall in a category of “above average” if that is the majority. So many people consider themselves good. With this shivering statistic and the ignorance of everyone who truly believe they are outstandingly unique in some sense; I don’t want to be above average. I don’t want to be good. In fact, I’m as bad as it gets.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by kakairis
Good is Mainstream

Hello.
I am writing this essay, because I believe I can be better that the twelve other entries submitted at this time.
I am also going to college because I believe that in the end, I can chase away and rid student debt with an exceptional job more efficiently than everyone else that has tried and failed in the past.
I go to work at a minimum wage, ludicrously average job. I can withstand this, simply because I know I’m better than most there.
Oh, and you guessed it. You know that lottery they run all the time? Sometimes they give away, like, approximately a billion dollars?? I’m going to win that too; because well, it just seems that I’m special.
I’m going to keep buying these treacherous, repulsive cigarettes and spend the amount of money equivalent to a car payment in a month. Don’t worry though; I’m exempt from developing Cancer. They won’t kill me. However, the guy next to me should stop. Just because I’m doing it, you shouldn’t do it too.

Equality. The entirety of the human race strives to be equal.
We have fought centuries upon time clashing and disputing over “special treatment” in human rights. We have protested, discriminated and shed a countless number of blood and harsh tears over this topic. What if naturally, we want to be “equal” for the daunting fear crawling in the back of our Egos? This fear is oozing with jealousy, hatred and an unsettling amount of controversy. Our minds seem to cringe when challenged or told that we are not good enough. What is good enough? How do you figure that we want to be considered just as good as the person next to us, whilst allowing a conceding ego to chant encouraging songs on how we are actually better than the majority of the population?

Pointless would be the act of living. In my perspective, this seems quite uncanny. Entitlement allows us to feel a prevalent presence of superiority to the person next to us. There isn’t a single person that enjoys failing. We all have this absurd drive to succeed within ourselves. I like to think of this as our will to be alive. If we did not feel a tangible purpose attached to our shell of our soul(s), there would be no life. We all consider ourselves above average, simply because if we all knew we were well below average, there would be no accomplishment or strive for betterment within ourselves.

Circumstances, talents and intelligence dance within the minds we each possess. We all are given a set of skills. Somewhere along the line, another person gave us a spark. Exhausted, we picked ourselves up to meet the leveling  eyes of another individual. Someone saw something in us; our family, a peer, a coach. They said that we could accomplish anything; they believed in us. Our egos digest this as validation and positivity. A spark in the blackness. If we were all truly, “above average” why would we naturally consume and allow validation and confirmation from other humans?

If our natural state detests the feeling of being less than equal to our human associates, but thoroughly enjoys toying with the idea that somehow we are better simultaneously; that leaves the majority of us at good. Not exceptional. Not remarkable in some sense. It leaves us very comparable. No brilliance lives in good. If you think about the act of insulting someone, why is it that it can be so degrading and wounding? If the majority of us truly believed and understood what it meant to be “above average,” nothing would touch us.

When people are asked if they believe they are above average, the statistic is 94% of the answer ‘yes’. Doesn’t that make the 6% the above average, if the average response is, ‘yes’? I’d like to meet with the sample size of the 6%. Just maybe, they hold all of the answers. I certainly don’t want to fall in a category of “above average” if that is the majority. So many people consider themselves good. With this shivering statistic and the ignorance of everyone who truly believe they are outstandingly unique in some sense; I don’t want to be above average. I don’t want to be good. In fact, I’m as bad as it gets.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by monicajvogel

Everybody is above their own version of "average"

Everybody is unique. When people think of themselves in a positive light, they tend to think of the better parts of their personality, intellectual ability, physical capabilities, etc. Many people are willing to admit that they lack in certain areas, but they don't consider themselves normal; essentially, everybody is answering their own questions. If you asked an intellectual person if they were above average, they would most likely answer "yes," thinking in terms of their IQ and where it sits on the normal curve. If you asked a popular jock if he was above average, he would probably say "yes," thinking in terms of his fitness and popularity. If you asked an idiot that happened to be rich if he was above average, he would probably say "yes," thinking that money made him better. Nobody is on the same spectrum. They all have their own ideas of what average is, their own ideas of what makes someone successful, and almost nobody admits that they are above average in some random area but below average in other areas. Naturally, humans are pretty stuck-up and full of themselves; everybody thinks they are better than everybody else. So, if someone simply asked random people if they felt they were above average, most of the people would say "yes."

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by monicajvogel
Everybody is above their own version of "average"
Everybody is unique. When people think of themselves in a positive light, they tend to think of the better parts of their personality, intellectual ability, physical capabilities, etc. Many people are willing to admit that they lack in certain areas, but they don't consider themselves normal; essentially, everybody is answering their own questions. If you asked an intellectual person if they were above average, they would most likely answer "yes," thinking in terms of their IQ and where it sits on the normal curve. If you asked a popular jock if he was above average, he would probably say "yes," thinking in terms of his fitness and popularity. If you asked an idiot that happened to be rich if he was above average, he would probably say "yes," thinking that money made him better. Nobody is on the same spectrum. They all have their own ideas of what average is, their own ideas of what makes someone successful, and almost nobody admits that they are above average in some random area but below average in other areas. Naturally, humans are pretty stuck-up and full of themselves; everybody thinks they are better than everybody else. So, if someone simply asked random people if they felt they were above average, most of the people would say "yes."

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by DanaRue

What Average Deserves

I thought that maybe people considered themselves above-average because they couldn't quite grasp the concept of above-average. But maybe, the issue relies in that people do not grasp what average means. The word in itself has unknowingly cultivated a shroud of hopelessness around it. "Just one more in the lot", "nothing to see here", untalented, useless, mediocre, average... 

Women that are not stunning are called beautiful, because they cannot stand to think that they're looks can be pleasant and pretty but not gorgeous beyond believe. Humans are all about the black and white; forgetting purposefully about the endless shades of grays. Talented individuals are called geniuses and prodigies for accomplishments they have ease in when in comparison to their peers. They're big fishes in small ponds, nothing more. They cannot be dark grays in this black and white world. 

Average is all about the grays.

Average means the middle point between idiocy and genius, between untalented and genius. Yet, people supplant average with below par, because while there is a high enough numbers of failures and successes, there is an overwhelming number of middle-point individuals who don't even succeed in failing spectacularly enough to be stripped away from the herd. People are scared of being sheep. 

Average means smart, and friendly, and loyal and a bunch of other nice things... good qualities are not monopolized by the individuals who do in-fact fit the bill to be called above-average. If everyone you know is quite smart, and quite nice and all those things look for the one person that's just that much more and that's probably still not above-average. The range for your investigation being so reduce in comparison to the six billion people in the world that the chances of that person truly being more than the normal population are minimal.

I also chalk this up to a quirky mechanism in our brain. See, when you're trying to prove a theory you're brain brings forth only the information that supports that theory.  Once we've established that people like to disassociate themselves from the negative-connotations surrounding the idea of being average, when they're asked if they're above average their minds go: "of course!" and proceeds to support the idea with evidence. The thing is that even average people get moments of glory, just like above-average people experience failure. The idea here is that average people experience more failure than success through hard work, while the contrary is true for above-average people with less of an effort in their part. 

In my homeland we have a popular saying "Cada loco con su tema". It roughly means "every weirdo with his theme". What it refers to is that everyone has something they're passionate about. Talent isn't an all-encompassing blessing that makes people prodigious in everything they do. In fact, talent tends to show itself in a particular area of a person's life. I firmly believe that everyone has a talent. That said, wouldn't anyone considered above-average in an aspect of their lives unknowingly or knowingly extend that recognition into their entire selves? Of course, this works because they wouldn't take into account that everyone else has an area in their life they're above-average in, therefore balancing each other out.  

Really, it all comes down to our fear of not being worthy of love and acceptance and our fear of being forgotten. We feel that in order to deserve anything in life we have to be more. More than what, though? That is a question I struggle with myself. But above-average is as good a mark as any. Above-average may put us down in history, or the local paper or at least in people's minds... or their mouths... Or anything to make it seem like one human in six billion in a millennia of lives could leave a mark in this world.

Above-average makes us feel special and worthy, it gives credit to our innermost desire of deserving respect, deserving love, deserving good things in life. Because we naively believe that if we deserve something, we'll get it. 

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by DanaRue
What Average Deserves
I thought that maybe people considered themselves above-average because they couldn't quite grasp the concept of above-average. But maybe, the issue relies in that people do not grasp what average means. The word in itself has unknowingly cultivated a shroud of hopelessness around it. "Just one more in the lot", "nothing to see here", untalented, useless, mediocre, average... 

Women that are not stunning are called beautiful, because they cannot stand to think that they're looks can be pleasant and pretty but not gorgeous beyond believe. Humans are all about the black and white; forgetting purposefully about the endless shades of grays. Talented individuals are called geniuses and prodigies for accomplishments they have ease in when in comparison to their peers. They're big fishes in small ponds, nothing more. They cannot be dark grays in this black and white world. 

Average is all about the grays.

Average means the middle point between idiocy and genius, between untalented and genius. Yet, people supplant average with below par, because while there is a high enough numbers of failures and successes, there is an overwhelming number of middle-point individuals who don't even succeed in failing spectacularly enough to be stripped away from the herd. People are scared of being sheep. 

Average means smart, and friendly, and loyal and a bunch of other nice things... good qualities are not monopolized by the individuals who do in-fact fit the bill to be called above-average. If everyone you know is quite smart, and quite nice and all those things look for the one person that's just that much more and that's probably still not above-average. The range for your investigation being so reduce in comparison to the six billion people in the world that the chances of that person truly being more than the normal population are minimal.

I also chalk this up to a quirky mechanism in our brain. See, when you're trying to prove a theory you're brain brings forth only the information that supports that theory.  Once we've established that people like to disassociate themselves from the negative-connotations surrounding the idea of being average, when they're asked if they're above average their minds go: "of course!" and proceeds to support the idea with evidence. The thing is that even average people get moments of glory, just like above-average people experience failure. The idea here is that average people experience more failure than success through hard work, while the contrary is true for above-average people with less of an effort in their part. 

In my homeland we have a popular saying "Cada loco con su tema". It roughly means "every weirdo with his theme". What it refers to is that everyone has something they're passionate about. Talent isn't an all-encompassing blessing that makes people prodigious in everything they do. In fact, talent tends to show itself in a particular area of a person's life. I firmly believe that everyone has a talent. That said, wouldn't anyone considered above-average in an aspect of their lives unknowingly or knowingly extend that recognition into their entire selves? Of course, this works because they wouldn't take into account that everyone else has an area in their life they're above-average in, therefore balancing each other out.  

Really, it all comes down to our fear of not being worthy of love and acceptance and our fear of being forgotten. We feel that in order to deserve anything in life we have to be more. More than what, though? That is a question I struggle with myself. But above-average is as good a mark as any. Above-average may put us down in history, or the local paper or at least in people's minds... or their mouths... Or anything to make it seem like one human in six billion in a millennia of lives could leave a mark in this world.

Above-average makes us feel special and worthy, it gives credit to our innermost desire of deserving respect, deserving love, deserving good things in life. Because we naively believe that if we deserve something, we'll get it. 
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Sahara

That Six Percent

We all like to think that we're better.

Better than our neighbor, better than our boss, better than our friends.

On the surface, that's the secret behind oh-so-many of us holding firm in the belief we're above average.

When asked, are you above average?

Ninety-four percent of us say, yes.

Ninety-four percent of us.

Above the fifty percent line.

It's the thought, that we don't have to be the best, we just have to be doing better than most, that grants us this delusion.

Our peace of mind, rather.

There are so very few people we see that we think highly of.

Who do you admire?

Truly.

A couple, at most.

Now.

Who do you look down on?

Really.

More than a couple, at least.

Our self-reports mean nothing.

Because at our cores, we are all afraid that we mean nothing.

We all present otherwise.

Of course we all present otherwise.

What else is life other than just a grand scheme?

Posturing. Endlessly.

Have you ever met anyone who doesn't?

Our hate, struggles, and stress would consume us if we didn't.

It's how we sleep at night.

Deeper, beneath the surface of our secret, is the final realization that our hold on this belief is weak.

Because in our hearts, we don't want to be better than others.

We want to be better than the perspective we fear other people have of us.

If we're afraid we'll die alone, that we'll leave nothing behind, we all just want to live a life we're satisfied with.

And how is satisfaction measured?

Above par, I would imagine.

And where is par?

Halve the lives on this planet, and see the top half.

That's where we'd like to be.

It's not too hard to understand.

And it's easy to believe in the lies we tell ourselves.

Why not study it?

It's fascinating.

I get it.

So, ask me where I think I rank.

And, of course I will tell you, 

Above that 50% margin.

But.

We could all take a note from that lost minority.

The six percent.

When asked, where do you place yourself?

They answered, below average.

What do you think it takes to give such an answer?

Humility, sure.

Clarity, certainly.

It's the best we can all hope for.

Because the world is a harsh place. 

But instead of seeing it, and everyone in it as the enemy and yourself as somehow better, I like to think that people like the six percent, live their life seeing the world the way it's meant to be seen.

Looking everywhere they see with rose-colored glasses.

Everywhere, except the mirror. 

Seeing themselves in the mix, instead of above it.

The very thing that makes them different, the six percent, is believing that they are not.

Noble.

And freeing, living like that.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by Sahara
That Six Percent
We all like to think that we're better.
Better than our neighbor, better than our boss, better than our friends.
On the surface, that's the secret behind oh-so-many of us holding firm in the belief we're above average.
When asked, are you above average?
Ninety-four percent of us say, yes.
Ninety-four percent of us.
Above the fifty percent line.
It's the thought, that we don't have to be the best, we just have to be doing better than most, that grants us this delusion.
Our peace of mind, rather.
There are so very few people we see that we think highly of.
Who do you admire?
Truly.
A couple, at most.
Now.
Who do you look down on?
Really.
More than a couple, at least.
Our self-reports mean nothing.
Because at our cores, we are all afraid that we mean nothing.
We all present otherwise.
Of course we all present otherwise.
What else is life other than just a grand scheme?
Posturing. Endlessly.
Have you ever met anyone who doesn't?
Our hate, struggles, and stress would consume us if we didn't.
It's how we sleep at night.
Deeper, beneath the surface of our secret, is the final realization that our hold on this belief is weak.
Because in our hearts, we don't want to be better than others.
We want to be better than the perspective we fear other people have of us.
If we're afraid we'll die alone, that we'll leave nothing behind, we all just want to live a life we're satisfied with.
And how is satisfaction measured?
Above par, I would imagine.
And where is par?
Halve the lives on this planet, and see the top half.
That's where we'd like to be.
It's not too hard to understand.
And it's easy to believe in the lies we tell ourselves.
Why not study it?
It's fascinating.
I get it.
So, ask me where I think I rank.
And, of course I will tell you, 
Above that 50% margin.
But.
We could all take a note from that lost minority.
The six percent.
When asked, where do you place yourself?
They answered, below average.
What do you think it takes to give such an answer?
Humility, sure.
Clarity, certainly.
It's the best we can all hope for.
Because the world is a harsh place. 
But instead of seeing it, and everyone in it as the enemy and yourself as somehow better, I like to think that people like the six percent, live their life seeing the world the way it's meant to be seen.
Looking everywhere they see with rose-colored glasses.
Everywhere, except the mirror. 
Seeing themselves in the mix, instead of above it.
The very thing that makes them different, the six percent, is believing that they are not.
Noble.
And freeing, living like that.
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by ChanDude

We Only Ask The Good Ones

So, ninety-four percent of people who are asked if they're above average, say yes. Hmmm. My first thought is, who are you asking? Are you asking people on the street or on a campus? How old are the participants? Do they still have the illusions of youth on their side? Or has adulthood kicked in with responsibilities and consequences for their actions? In what economic areas are you asking this question? With so many variables, it's difficult to pinpoint the discrepancy.

A while back, I told my youngest daughter (whom I am so proud of, and has now started college) that I felt she was one of the smartest people in the world. I elaborated by listing the courses she had completed in high school. She passed Calculus, AP English, Spanish, Advanced Cooking, and more. I didn't even know there was such a thing as advanced cooking. Anyway... I told her, if you look at the world population, you must be in the top ten percent, maybe even five percent, in intelligence.

Then I explained, there are, unfortunately, many third-world and war-torn countries. These poor people have little to no access to a good education. I have no idea how much of the world population this affects. My guess is a third, maybe? Then you look at the amount of people who have access, but can't take advantage of the available education. Then, there are some who just don't have the ability. And, still others that just don't care. Ignorance is bliss! How many have passed college level English, or whatever their native language equivalent may be? How many have a good understanding of a second language, and common sense? Add to that going through all of those math classes, including calculus. In my head these estimates added up to the upper five percent.

At the end of this flattery session, I told her... "Now use it!" I wanted to communicate to her, the gift she had. I was also trying to instill some guilt, if she didn't do something with that big brain of hers.

So, as I go on and on with how awesome my youngest daughter is (my eldest daughter is equally awesome, by the way) I've changed direction. It has just occurred to me. Isn't it subjective? Everyone knows someone who is more intelligent than themselves. Just like everyone knows someone who they consider to be less intelligent. And who do the surveyed associate with? Do you want to be the dumbest person in a room full of geniuses? Or would you prefer to be the smartest of the imbeciles?

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by ChanDude
We Only Ask The Good Ones
So, ninety-four percent of people who are asked if they're above average, say yes. Hmmm. My first thought is, who are you asking? Are you asking people on the street or on a campus? How old are the participants? Do they still have the illusions of youth on their side? Or has adulthood kicked in with responsibilities and consequences for their actions? In what economic areas are you asking this question? With so many variables, it's difficult to pinpoint the discrepancy.

A while back, I told my youngest daughter (whom I am so proud of, and has now started college) that I felt she was one of the smartest people in the world. I elaborated by listing the courses she had completed in high school. She passed Calculus, AP English, Spanish, Advanced Cooking, and more. I didn't even know there was such a thing as advanced cooking. Anyway... I told her, if you look at the world population, you must be in the top ten percent, maybe even five percent, in intelligence.

Then I explained, there are, unfortunately, many third-world and war-torn countries. These poor people have little to no access to a good education. I have no idea how much of the world population this affects. My guess is a third, maybe? Then you look at the amount of people who have access, but can't take advantage of the available education. Then, there are some who just don't have the ability. And, still others that just don't care. Ignorance is bliss! How many have passed college level English, or whatever their native language equivalent may be? How many have a good understanding of a second language, and common sense? Add to that going through all of those math classes, including calculus. In my head these estimates added up to the upper five percent.

At the end of this flattery session, I told her... "Now use it!" I wanted to communicate to her, the gift she had. I was also trying to instill some guilt, if she didn't do something with that big brain of hers.

So, as I go on and on with how awesome my youngest daughter is (my eldest daughter is equally awesome, by the way) I've changed direction. It has just occurred to me. Isn't it subjective? Everyone knows someone who is more intelligent than themselves. Just like everyone knows someone who they consider to be less intelligent. And who do the surveyed associate with? Do you want to be the dumbest person in a room full of geniuses? Or would you prefer to be the smartest of the imbeciles?
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by CSMacPherson

Above Average

The studies in question make perfect sense when you look at the logistical realities of daily living in the modern world, vis-a-vis the location and abilities of a sub-set of "people" as compared to the larger control group of "all people." You see.  Its a very sensible conclusion to draw, from an individual perspective when you look at the one physical clue that eludes so many of us and is not present in the stated assumptions of this challenge nor, indeed, of the studies that have inspired this seemingly unbalanced conclusion.

Or, to state the obvious:

94% of people in the studies live on the second floor or higher.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by CSMacPherson
Above Average
The studies in question make perfect sense when you look at the logistical realities of daily living in the modern world, vis-a-vis the location and abilities of a sub-set of "people" as compared to the larger control group of "all people." You see.  Its a very sensible conclusion to draw, from an individual perspective when you look at the one physical clue that eludes so many of us and is not present in the stated assumptions of this challenge nor, indeed, of the studies that have inspired this seemingly unbalanced conclusion.

Or, to state the obvious:
94% of people in the studies live on the second floor or higher.
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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by fantastical

How 94% Are Above Average

"Hello Kind Sir/Madame. Question? Do you feel you are above average? Yes or No, please?"

If asked just like that, it is easy to see how 94% answer this question 'yes'. Because it is a completely open question, the answer will be easily be interpretive in a very subjective way. 

"Hello Kind Sir/Madame. On a scale of 1-10, what would you rank yourself in general?"

A little different, but depending on the mood of the person, most (probably 94%) will probably say 6 or more.

Over the broad scope of a person's skills and abilities, most people will believe they are above average on most general scales.

Are you an above average student? (Carried good grades, got a degree, sure.)

Are you an above average cook? (No one has died from eating my food, sure.)

Are you an above average writer? (You are reading this, right?)

Are you an above average reader? (I was able to read what I wrote, right?)

Even those, will be answered with a subjective bias based on a person's experience and real-world internal sampling.

Take the question, 'above average cook'? I compare myself to everyone that has ever cooked for me. I may honestly say I am worse than let's say Gordon Ramsey, but I am not answering 'one of the best', I am answering simply, 'above average'. Considering a large percentage of people don't even cook, just by being able to cook scrambled eggs with any skill probably puts you 'above average'.

Again, we process the general 'above average' question to all of our skills, and we decide we are 'above average' (unless you are pragmatic or depressed, then you fall into the other 6%)

Now, as you start to give the people asked a more random survey of things to be 'above-average in', for example:

Cooking, playing football, building an engine, playing poker, winning the lottery, gardening, looks, etc.

Now, you are going to start getting a deeper mix of yes and no answers, and the aggregate percentage will start getting lower.

Take a sample of 100 students. They take a test of 100 questions. The worst student scores 49/100. The rest score 90/100. Against the questions themselves, 99% of the students had a way-above-average understanding of the material. Even against the average score, (89.59/100) The 99 students are still, technically above average because they all have a score of 90.

With just the general question, there is too much wiggle room. Everyone will wiggle upward.

It is not a statistical impossibility, it is a statistically useless question. A trick of the mind and the sample set. A perfect example of how you can use statistics to tell whatever story you want to.

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Continuing studies show that when asked 94% of people self-report as being above average. As this is statistically impossible, explain this phenomena. No rhyming.
Written by fantastical
How 94% Are Above Average
"Hello Kind Sir/Madame. Question? Do you feel you are above average? Yes or No, please?"

If asked just like that, it is easy to see how 94% answer this question 'yes'. Because it is a completely open question, the answer will be easily be interpretive in a very subjective way. 

"Hello Kind Sir/Madame. On a scale of 1-10, what would you rank yourself in general?"

A little different, but depending on the mood of the person, most (probably 94%) will probably say 6 or more.

Over the broad scope of a person's skills and abilities, most people will believe they are above average on most general scales.

Are you an above average student? (Carried good grades, got a degree, sure.)
Are you an above average cook? (No one has died from eating my food, sure.)
Are you an above average writer? (You are reading this, right?)
Are you an above average reader? (I was able to read what I wrote, right?)

Even those, will be answered with a subjective bias based on a person's experience and real-world internal sampling.

Take the question, 'above average cook'? I compare myself to everyone that has ever cooked for me. I may honestly say I am worse than let's say Gordon Ramsey, but I am not answering 'one of the best', I am answering simply, 'above average'. Considering a large percentage of people don't even cook, just by being able to cook scrambled eggs with any skill probably puts you 'above average'.

Again, we process the general 'above average' question to all of our skills, and we decide we are 'above average' (unless you are pragmatic or depressed, then you fall into the other 6%)

Now, as you start to give the people asked a more random survey of things to be 'above-average in', for example:

Cooking, playing football, building an engine, playing poker, winning the lottery, gardening, looks, etc.

Now, you are going to start getting a deeper mix of yes and no answers, and the aggregate percentage will start getting lower.

Take a sample of 100 students. They take a test of 100 questions. The worst student scores 49/100. The rest score 90/100. Against the questions themselves, 99% of the students had a way-above-average understanding of the material. Even against the average score, (89.59/100) The 99 students are still, technically above average because they all have a score of 90.

With just the general question, there is too much wiggle room. Everyone will wiggle upward.

It is not a statistical impossibility, it is a statistically useless question. A trick of the mind and the sample set. A perfect example of how you can use statistics to tell whatever story you want to.












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