In 1994, West Ham United were playing against Oxford United, when one of their players got injured. Their manager, Harry Redknapp, having used all his substitutes, turned to a West Ham fan in the crowd named Steve Davies, who’d spent most of the first half criticizing striker Lee Chapman. “Do you play as good as you talk?” Redknapp asked. “I’m better than that Chapman,” Davies replied, and so on to the pitch he went. Davies was likely indulging in what’s known as the “superiority illusion, ” a trait whereby we believe we’re above average at whatever we happen to set our mind to. Psychologist David Dunning has studied the effect for years, and argues that the majority of people succumb to the illusion in some form. The statistics bear it out: 65% of Americans believe they’re smarter than most and 90% percent of drivers think they’re better than average. When it comes to This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.