Neither children nor adults have a well-developed capacity to distinguish the accuracy of their own beliefs. Adults are particularly vulnerable with regard to maintaining self-deceptive beliefs, especially when comparing their own intelligence and attractiveness with that of others. Most people overestimate their personal abilities, and unfortunately their inflated beliefs cause them to suspend their ability to test reality (e.g., smokers underestimate their risk of lung cancer, managers make overly optimistic forecasts that lead their organizations into initiates that typical fail or fall short of expectations). In surveys, approximately 90% of the respondents believed they were smarter, healthier, and more industrious than the average individual. (Newberg, Andrew, MD and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. P 72-74. NY: Free Press, 2006)

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