The Dunning-Kruger Effect, Or, Anti-Imposter Syndrome

Reply Wed 18 May, 2016 04:42 pm
Have you ever known someone who was so sure of their intelligence, skills, and correctness, they couldn't and/or wouldn't listen to reason? You could not tell this person they were wrong; they insisted they were right! They insisted they knew!

Well, you might have been dealing with the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

According to Rational Wiki:
The Dunning-Kruger effect, named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyse their performance, leading to a significant overestimate of themselves.

In simple words it's "people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are".
The inverse also applies: competent people tend to underestimate their ability compared to others; this is known as impostor syndrome.

If you have no doubts whatsoever about your competence, you could just be that damn good. On the other hand...

Yes, dear friends, there's a name for it!
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Robert Gentel
Reply Wed 18 May, 2016 04:47 pm
This affects us all, we all tend to overestimate our expertise when we don't know enough to know we are not experts.

Goes to show that the more you know the more you learn you don't know.

I still look back and cringe at my inexperienced points in some of my careers where I thought I knew what I was talking about but really just knew enough to be dangerous and think I knew what I was doing.
Reply Wed 18 May, 2016 05:01 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yep, and I think we often tie our egos up into such things. We want to look smart and in the know, and we can end up really putting our feet in it.
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Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 06:53 am
Strangely enough, some of these folk talk a good enough ballgame to get
themselves into positions where they can do serious harm. I've worked for
one or two.
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