Psychology has traditionally assumed that generally accurate self-perceptions are essential to good mental health . This was challenged by a 1988 paper by Taylor and Brown, who argued that mentally healthy individuals typically manifest three cognitive illusions—illusory superiority, illusion of control , and optimism bias .  This idea rapidly became very influential, with some authorities concluding that it would be therapeutic to deliberately induce these biases.  Since then, further research has both undermined that conclusion and offered new evidence associating illusory superiority with negative effects on the individual. 
For this year’s look at big decisions, we wanted to get a better understanding of decision-makers and their perceptions about overall decision-making capabilities in their organizations. To do this, we collected diverse perspectives through many different stories. This type of data capture allowed us to look at the full range of perspectives to get a better view of the underlying patterns. Using a narrative-led approach helped us to see the kind of experiences that wouldn’t have been captured in standard survey instruments. As of May 15, 2016, we’ve collected micro stories and other signifying data from more than 2,100 people across more than 10 countries and 15 industries.
For their first study, they took university students (the standard guinea pig of psychology) and showed them TED talks about various topics. Afterward, they found that the students who used laptops typed significantly more words than those who took notes by hand. When testing how well the students remembered information, the researchers found a key point of divergence in the type of question. For questions that asked students to simply remember facts, like dates, both groups did equally well. But for "conceptual-application" questions, such as, "How do Japan and Sweden differ in their approaches to equality within their societies?" the laptop users did "significantly worse."