Friday, November 11, 2011

MIT observation

I don't know if this is an MIT thing or an academia thing, but MIT students are very defensive.

I think it comes from low self-esteem. You have to defend yourself to prove that you're smart and you fit in and other people shouldn't criticize your idea or project or whatever it is.

Most people are probably familiar with the Lake Wobegone effect in surveys of people's aptitude. The vast majority of people claim to be better than average drivers and 87% of Stanford MBAs claimed to be above the median. So you might think the median MIT student would have a pretty good opinion of their academic ability, right?


And that's about all the work I'm willing to put into trying to falsify this hypothesis. Instead I'll speculate that the high rate of depression (this needs no evidence) contributes to weakened self-confidence (depressive realism). The link from earlier has a section on it.

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