SAYit Blog
Kiwis’ opinion of themselves

Last month, in a general public poll, we asked people to rate themselves as above average, average, or below average across a range of personal attributes.

The results show that there is a tendency to rate ourselves as being above average on kindness, sense of humor, and intelligence. Around half (46-51%) of respondents said they were above average on each of these while just 2-4% said they were below average.

However, in terms of fitness and wealth we are significantly harder on ourselves with considerably more people saying they are below average (37% and 32%) than above average (14% and 17%).

A quarter rated themselves as above average for confidence and 16% below average.

Height – a less subjective measure than many of the other characteristics – was, perhaps unsurprisingly, equal on both sides at 20%.

Ratings for good looks and luck was skewed negative with above average ratings of 9% and 12%, and below average ones of 19% and 23% respectively.

In terms of the demographics:

  • Males tended to rate themselves above average more commonly than females for almost all attributes, in particular: intelligence (51% to 42%), height (28% to 14%) and fitness (19% to 10%).
  • The only attribute where females had a higher ‘above average’ rating than males was kindness, where 56% of females and 46% of males said they were above average.
  • 17% of people under 30 years old considered themselves to have above average good looks, compared to 7% of their older counterparts.
  • Respondents not in a relationship were more likely to think they were below average in good looks (25%), compared with those in a relationship (16%).
  • While all the attributes were generally positively correlated with each other there was one notable exception. Those who consider themselves to be below average in wealth were more likely to say they were above average in kindness (57%).

All numbers are again from a UMR online SAYit poll of n=1000 nationally representative New Zealanders conducted between the 31st August and 16th September 2016. The margin of error for a 50% with 95% confidence is +/- 3.1%.

What do you think?