Being more honest but not necessarily more intelligent than others: generality and explanations for the Muhammad Ali effect

  • Van Lange P
  • Sedikides C
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Abstract

This research provides evidence for the generality of the Muhammad Ali effect (Allison, Messick, & Goethals, 1989), demonstrating that Dutch participants believe that the trait honesty is more descriptive of the self than of others, whereas the trait intelligence is believed to be equally descriptive of the self and others. Congruent with proposed explanations for the Muhammad Ali effect, participants regard honesty as more desirable, more controllable, and less verifiable than intelligence. Mediation analyses indicated that the Muhammad Ali effect is stronger among participants who view honesty as more desirable than intelligence

Author-supplied keywords

  • Honesty
  • Social Psychology

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Authors

  • Paul a. M. Van Lange

  • Constantine Sedikides

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