As much as we'd rather not admit it, jerks often get ahead in our world -- usually at the expense of a lot of other people along the way. Psychological research over the past few years is revealing why. As it turns out, acting like a jerk isn't the secret to reaping the rewards of jerkiness. The real secret is simply letting others place you on a pedestal.
The most recent study illustrating this point was covered in the Wall Street Journal in a piece entitled, "Why Are We Overconfident?" The study wanted to uncover what adaptive advantage overconfidence could possibly convey, since it so often leads to errors that don't benefit us. The short answer is that even if overconfidence produces subpar results, others still perceive it positively.