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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