The Friday Smile: The “Dunning Kruger” effect

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This is the psychological concept known as the “Dunning-Kruger” effect — put very simply, when stupid people don’t know that they are stupid — in action.

Writing at Pacific Standard, psychologist David Dunning explains it as:

[I]n many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize — scratch that, 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.

To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar, for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules, an impossibility among the incompetent.

Poor performers — and we are all poor performers at some things — fail to see the flaws in their thinking or the answers they lack. What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.”

Source: salon.com from Pacific Standard (author, David Dunning)

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