Most people evaluate themselves better than they actually are, and this applies to both character traits and physical fitness and appearance. Researchers Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Erin Whitchurch from the University of Virginia decided to check how much people tend to overrate themselves.
The scientists photographed volunteers, and then using the computer to correct the defect appearance of some photographs. The result was two photos of each member: one man appeared as such, it is, and on the other were removed small details like the appearance of wrinkles, moles, or yellowish teeth. Then, the volunteers showed the two pictures and asked to select the original: the majority of respondents chose the picture, where they were presented in a favorable light.
The researchers then asked strangers to look at the subjects "alive", and then showed them photos of both variants for each study participant. Generally, strangers chose the original photo.
People prefer pictures where they look better than they really are because the image corresponds to their mental representation, in other words, they sincerely believe in the accuracy and objectivity of their choice. In addition, they tend to overestimate their capabilities and others: for example, most of the people in the conversation increases the amount they are willing to donate to charity, while the size of donations his friends predict fairly accurately.
Researchers believe that the reasons for this behavior is that social environment is advantageous to exaggerate their merits - so we unconsciously try to deceive others, they seem to better and more interesting.