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Why incompetent people are often incredibly confident
Why dumb people are so confident
Based on article of David Pescovitz 2010
Have you ever noticed how incompetent people are often incredibly confident? Meanwhile, highly-skilled folks underestimate their ability to perform. That's called the Dunning-Kruger Effect
This effect is named for Justin Kruger and David Dunning of Cornell University who published their study of the cognitive bias in a 1999 scientific paper.
According to the scientists, "Overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it." ABC Radio National's The Science Show recently explored the Dunning-Kruger Effect:
'Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge,'
In light of this, it suddenly becomes clear why public debate can be so excruciating.
Debates on climate change, the age of the Earth or intelligent design are perfect real-life examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect. It beautifully explains the utter confidence of those who, with no expertise, remain stubborn in their views regardless of overwhelming evidence. It makes you want to shake them by the collar and scream about how stupid they are. But evidence shows that's not the best strategy.
"The Dunning-Kruger effect" (ABC Radio National)
"The research paper that first documented the Dunning-Kruger effect" (via @mgorbis)
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