Both better and worse than others depending on difficulty: Replication and extensions of Kruger’s (1999) above and below average effects
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKorbmacher, M., Kwan, C. (Isabelle), & Feldman, G. (2022). Both better and worse than others depending on diﬃculty: Replication and extensions of Kruger’s (1999) above and below average eﬀects. Judgment and Decision Making, 17(1), 449–486.
Above-and-below-average effects are well-known phenomena that arise when com- paring oneself to others. Kruger (1999) found that people rate themselves as above average for easy abilities and below average for difficult abilities. We conducted a suc- cessful pre-registered replication of Kruger’s (1999) Study 1, the first demonstration of the core phenomenon (N = 756, US MTurk workers). Extending the replication to also include a between-subject design, we added two conditions manipulating easy and dif- ficult interpretations of the original ability domains, and with an additional dependent variable measuring perceived difficulty. We observed an above-average-effect in the easy extension and below-average-effect in the difficult extension, compared to the neu- tral replication condition. Both extension conditions were perceived as less ambiguous than the original neutral condition. Overall, we conclude strong empirical support for Kruger’s above-and-below-average effects, with boundary conditions laid out in the extensions expanding both generalizability and robustness of the phenomenon.