Karmona Pragmatic Blog

Don't get overconfident… Tiny minds also think alike

Karmona Pragmatic Blog

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

November 15th, 2008 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 5 Comments

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people who are worst at a task show the most illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average (e.g. shut up I hack you :)

Justin Kruger & David Dunning have tested and verified the following predictions:

  • Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own ability and performance 
  • Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others (it takes one to know one ;)
  • Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy (“One puzzling aspect of our results is how the incompetent fail, through life experience, to learn that they are unskilled”)
  • If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill (There is still some hope)

Do you have the confidence that this post isn’t about you? 

Think again… (!!!) – “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” (Charles Darwin)

Do you think this post is about you?

Might be considered vain but interesting enough, the same research have shown that the top performers tended to underestimate their own performance compared to their peers (see chart below). 

So… if you find this post boring, obscure, stupid, annoying, poorly written or inappropriate than please keep in mind it isn’t something I have committed knowingly.

Tags: Blogging · Conspiracy · People · Psychology

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1  Pasha // Nov 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Horrible horrible post. One of your worst. :)
    I, on the other hand, nearly failed your spam protection test, requiring to calculate the sum of 1 and 5.

  • 2  avig // Nov 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Yes, I know, I met so many that overestimated themself, not like me…

    Personally I think that the way people estimate their ability is more related to their self assurence and character then to skills.

  • 3  Moti Karmona // Nov 17, 2008 at 5:39 am

    @Pasha, I am really sorry but as I said, this isn’t something I have committed knowingly…

    Tip: The blog rules do permit the use of calculator to solve spam protection captcha ;)

    @Avi, Whats up? Long time no see… :)

  • 4  Daniel McLaren // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    “Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own ability and performance.”

    I wonder how this relates to forecasting for project deadlines. Sounds like people who don’t know what they’re doing will underestimate time requirements whereas experts will come in under budget and ahead of schedule. Wish I experienced the latter more often!

  • 5  Dev // Jan 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Interesting! As a human we may be overestimating our abilities in variety of things and this may pretty much apply to anyone.

    In professional life, almost everyone thinks that she is performing better then others.

    I remember a appraisal few years back when I had thought that my performance was bad and I turned out to be the best :) … your graphs must be showing the reality.

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