Dunning Kruger Effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is.

Incompetent people cannot recognize just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: For poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack.

In self-evaluations of driving ability, job performance, and even immunity to bias, we tend to polish our image.

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  • fail to recognize their own lack of skill
  • fail to recognize the extent of their inadequacy
  • fail to recognize genuine skill in others
  • recognize and acknowledge their own lack of skill, after they are exposed to training for that skill

Reference We Are All Confident Idiots for a good read.

My favorite quote is “The most confident-sounding respondents often seem to think they do have some clue — as if there is some fact, some memory, or some intuition that assures them their answer is reasonable.”

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