Bias in the Relative Assessment of Happiness, Political Stance, Height and Weight

Cognitive  biases  have  been  a  recognised  feature  of  research  into  human  behaviour  since  at  least  Kahneman and Tversky’s ground‐breaking work of  the 1970s. We  find  that such biases extend into  the  realm  of  perceptions  about  relative  happiness  and  we  compare  and  contrast  this  phenomenon  across  three  other  characteristics:  height,  weight  and  political  stance.  Our  findings  indicate  a  powerful  and  consistent  bias in  the way individuals  perceive  their  place in the  population  distribution.  In  particular,  those  at  extremes  perceive  a  population  distribution  that  is  incorrectly  and  heavily  biased  towards  themselves, irrespective of whether the characteristic is objective and easily observed or not. 


Issue Date:
Sep 07 2010
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270995
Language:
English
Total Pages:
14
JEL Codes:
D03; C83; D84
Series Statement:
WERP 943




 Record created 2018-04-09, last modified 2018-04-09

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