Think you have a better chance of surviving a zombie outbreak than most? You might want to think again.

According to several extensive studies done between 1976 and 2002, people have an uncontrollable tendency to believe they are superior to their peers in everything from disaster preparedness to popularity. In fact, this widespread defect in perception even has a name.

The Wobegon Effect is termed after a fictitious town created by radio personality Garrison Keillor, because in Lake Wobegon, “All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” But research psychologist, Kim Orleans, warns that in reality at least half of all people are below average in any measurable category.

Unfortunately, that’s not how we see it, as Orleans explains:

“85% of high school students surveyed think they’re in the top 50% in ability to get along with others, and 25% of those say they’re in the top 1%.  What that means is there are a lot of kids feeling a lot more confident about things than they should.”

And this phenomenon doesn’t change as we grow older.

A recent study of graduate students at Stanford’s Business School revealed that 87% think they’re in the top 50% of academic performance. 68% of professors at the University of Nebraska believe they are in the top 25% of teaching ability. 90% of drivers of all ages say they’re safer than average, and 75% of senior citizens think they look younger than their fellow seniors.

People across the board think they’re less likely than others to have heart disease, get fired, divorced, or be killed in a natural or man-made disaster. In short, we think we’re smarter, tougher and better prepared than our neighbors.

So what does the Wobegon Effect mean when applied to a global zombie outbreak? It means that a whole bunch of us are wrong about our chances of survival.

Dead wrong.


  1. If there is somehow a zombie outbreak, expect them to be strong. Too strong. And expect them to be fast, too. And expect them to retain some human like characteristics.. Expect the worse, or you’ll die trying to live..

  2. The human mind is a dangerous thing when proven wrong. Ignorance IS bliss.

  3. Unless you know, it can be vector borne, in which case it sucks for all.
    Speed of zombies, how virulent they are, how durable, etc are all factors.
    Biting through denim is hard, but you can puncture the skin, without cutting through the denim, thus exposing yourself to the potential pathogen. Leather’s problem is it absorbs bodily fluids, and holds them. Washing does little to remove fluids.

    Basically, the big stick part is the best part of your argument. Hope you can hit a moving target and don’t fall…

  4. Ok here’s my problem with all of this Zombie Apocalypse nonsense. First off Zombies are NOT scary. For the most part you do not even need a frakin’ gun to escape them, in most cases all you need to survive is a second floor apartment and a long pole.

    Secondly unless I am missing something these are just walking human cadavers right? So basically all of you people are afraid of getting chewed on bu normal human teeth and scratched by normal human finger nails…. Ever try to bite through leather? or hell even denim? I think, in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse as long as I got a pair of jeans a leather jack and a stout pole I’ll be fine.

    • You know what they say…ignorance is bliss.

    • There’s also the possibility that they will pull your clothes off to bite you, which is fairly easy, at least enough to just get to bare skin

    • You bunker in on that second floor and dont forget to take the stairs out so the Zombies cant get to you. Also, make sure to take a life time supply of food and water up their with you because trapping yourself upstairs is nothing but a slow death. At least you’ll have your pole to play with…

  5. I actually don’t suffer from the Wobegon effect. Quite the opposite, actually. It’s called “Depression”.

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