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Mullins: Don't Think You're The Very Best or The Very Worst
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Did you know that most people believe themselves to be better looking, funnier and a more skilled driver than the average person?

Dave Mullins

This belief, called Illusory Superiority (IS), is defined as a condition of cognitive bias where a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other persons. Illusory Inferiority (II) would be the opposite, where a person underestimates their own qualities and abilities. Pretty much every tennis player I have ever coached falls into one of these two categories. The outlier was the player who had a good grasp of reality! Why is it that most tennis players, including myself, would be at one end of this spectrum or the other? Here's my take on why so many players fall into these extremes.

The players who suffer from IS were the ones that could never really take personal responsibility for a poor performance or loss. They would be very creative with their excuses and could be quite convincing. One reason they may have developed this habit was as a protection mechanism to deal with parents who likely suffered from the Dunning-Kruger effect:

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Page updated on Saturday, October 19, 2019
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