The Dunning-Kruger Effect

I recently watched one of Niomi Smart’s Youtube Videos and she mentioned the Dunning-Kruger Effect. I was intrigued by this so I decided to research further. I found out that in summary, if you think somebody’s lack of ability or experience is preventing them from seeing their own failings, they are more than likely suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is the tendency for unskilled people to make poor decisions or reach wrong conclusions, but their incompetence prevents them from recognising their mistakes. I feel that this links perfectly with the saying, ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ I found out that Justin Kruger and David Dunning were partly influenced by this observation: ‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’ – Charles Darwin.

A lot of the research is very complicated however, the main points that I took away from my reading were that the more someone knows, the less they think they know and the less knowledgeable people are, the more they think they know.

According to Dunning and Kruger, ignorance is behind a great deal of incompetence. They state that incompetent people will:

• Overestimate their abilities.

• Fail to recognise genuine ability in others.

• Not recognise the extremity of their inadequacy.

I found it very interesting reading more about this theory and I don’t know about you, but I can definitely think of a least a few times where I have been around people that brag about how much they think they know. In summary, if someone is untrained, inexperienced or doesn’t fully understand the environment, they need to train themselves to stop, observe and reflect and not just assume they are doing well. If they don’t do this, they might be suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect!

Rachel

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