Almost no one in Britain thinks they are less intelligent than the average British person, a study has revealed.
When asked “in general” how they would rate their intelligence compared to the average, just two per cent of us think we are below the norm – or at least are willing to admit it.
By comparison, a more accurate 47 per cent think they are more intelligent than the average person, while 43 per cent think they are about the same. The remaining seven per cent or so said they weren’t sure where they stand.
The survey results, from the polling company YouGov, come after London Mayor Boris Johnson came in for criticism at the end of last year for appearing to suggest that low IQ was the reason poor people did not succeed in life.
The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was unhappy then – describing the comments as “unpleasant, careless elitism” – but he may be interested in the new study, which appears to show that those who vote for his party are much more likely to think more highly of their intelligence than others.
When broken down by voting intention, the survey showed that 68 per cent of those who favour the Lib Dems think they are cleverer than the average Briton. Respondents who vote for Ukip, Labour or the Conservative Party were roughly equivalent to the national average.
Londoners, too, were more likely to say they are more intelligent than the average person, at 59 per cent, while those in the North (43 per cent) were the least likely to do so.
Those who were questioned by YouGov were left to decide their own definition of “intelligence”, and indeed which “average” they wanted to measure themselves by.
But while it can safely be assumed that more than two per cent of the public must be less intelligent than average, those who did select this option may be the most perceptive of all.