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Evidence for an over inflated opinion of ourselves comes from the College Board that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT exam, which millions of high school students take each year. On that test there are a number of other questions besides the ones about math and English which the students are asked to answer. For instance, they are asked to evaluate their leadership ability.


Recently in an exam, seventy percent of the students rated themselves as above average in leadership, and only two percent as below average. Sixty percent rated themselves as above average in athletics while only six percent said below. When they rated themselves as to how easy they were to get along with, 25 percent said they were in the top one percent, sixty percent said they were in the top ten percent, and absolutely no one said he was below average in being easy to get along with.


Obviously high school students have a very high opinion of themselves; they have pride in themselves. Now is this the kind of pride that says, "I have something to offer this world to make it a better place," or is it the kind of pride that says, "I’m better than you"? The exam doesn’t say. We hope it’s pride that offers to build a better world; otherwise, it is arrogance.


R. Curtis Fussell, Deadly Sins And Living Virtues, CSS Publishing Company, Inc, 1997


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