Do expert drivers have a reduced illusion of superiority?

Andrea E. Waylen, Mark S. Horswill*, Jane L. Alexander, Frank P. McKenna

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    It is well established that people tend to rate themselves as better than average across many domains. To maintain these illusions, it is suggested that people distort feedback about their own and others' performance. This study examined expert/novice differences in self-ratings when people compared themselves with others of the same level of expertise and background as themselves. Given that a key expert characteristic is increased self-monitoring, we predicted that experts in a domain may have a reduced illusion of superiority because they are more aware of their actual ability. We compared expert police drivers with novice police drivers and found that this prediction was not supported. Expert police drivers rated themselves as superior to equally qualified drivers, to the same degree as novices, Cohen's d = .03ns. Despite their extensive additional training and experience, experts still appear to be as susceptible to illusions of superiority as everyone else.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-331
    Number of pages9
    JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


    • Driving
    • Experience
    • Expertise
    • Illusory biases
    • Training
    • Unrealistic optimism


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