I am a better driver than you think: examining self-enhancement for driving ability


  • A portion of this work was supported by NIMH, National Research Service Award, MH14257, to the University of Illinois Department of Psychology, completed while the first author was a postdoctoral trainee in the Quantitative Methods Program at UIUC.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Michael Roy, Department of Psychology, Elizabethtown College, 1 Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA. E-mail: roym@etown.edu


We examined whether people recognized that others might disagree with their high self-assessments of driving ability, and, if so, why. Participants in four experiments expressed a belief that others would assess them as worse drivers than they assessed themselves. This difference appears to be caused by participants' use of their own, idiosyncratic definition of driving ability. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants reported that others would supply similar assessments of their ability when the skill was less ambiguous. Results of Experiment 4 indicate that participants recognize that there may be more than one way to view driving performance. Participants appear aware that others likely disagree with their self-assessment of driving ability due to differences in how others define driving ability.