david_g_myers's picture
Professor of Psychology, Hope College; Co-author, Psychology, 11th Edition
Myers' Law

Myers' Law of Truth

The surest truth is that some of our beliefs err.

Monotheism, someone has said, offers two simple axioms: 1) There is a God. 2) It's not you. Knowing that we are fallible humans underlies the humility and openness that inspires science, and democracy. As Madeline L'Engle noted, "The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument."

Myers' Law of Self-Perception

Most people see themselves as better than average.

Nine in ten managers rate themselves as superior to their average peer. Nine in ten college professors rated themselves as superior to their average colleague. And six in ten high school seniors rate their "ability to get along with others" as in the top 10 percent. Most drivers–even most drivers who have been hospitalized after accidents–believe themselves more skilled than the average driver. "The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background," observes Dave Barry, "is that deep down inside, we all believe that we are above average drivers." Excess humility is an uncommon flaw.

Myers Law of Writing

Anything that can be misunderstood will be.