Now You Know

Fake It ‘Til You Make It





New study suggests this “technique” may actually work.

Now You Know


  • New study published in Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.
  • Researchers examined social class and the “Social Advantage of MiscalibratedA Individuals” – aka those with overconfidence.
  • Combined four separate studies with more than 150,000 people.
Now You Know

“Advantages beget advantages.”

Researchers say overconfidence (confidence beyond one's knowledge or an actual skill set) tends to be an attribute of those assuming higher status roles in society. Overconfidence is also often misinterpreted as competence, only further insulating those in the upper class in their social position, whether or not it's deserved.
Now You Know

The study's authors say their research provides insight into one reason (not the only reason) why those in the upper class tend to stay in the upper class for generations. What do you think?

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  • Why High-Class People Get Away With Incompetence
  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The Social Advantage of Miscalibrated Individuals: The Relationship Between Social Class and Overconfidence and Its Implications for Class-Based Inequality
  • People in higher social class have an exaggerated belief that they are better than others
    “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. By contrast, working-class people are socialized to embrace the values of humility, authenticity and knowing your place in the hierarchy,” he said. “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.”