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
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