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Bias in the relative assessment of happiness,\ud political stance, height and weight\ud

By Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi

Abstract

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

Topics: H1
Publisher: University of Warwick. Dept. of Economics
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3508

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