We are all confident idiots

We think we know more than we do.

We’ve all done this, right—pretended we know something that we really don’t? This phenomena is known as Dunning-Kruger effect, written by David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell.

He’s written this excellent article on “We are all confident idiots,” explaining how confidence in one’s answers tends to be high for people who don’t know what they’re talking about. He says, “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.

We are simply not very good at knowing what we don’t know.

Dunning’s article is a long read but it’s definitely worth checking out: We are all confident idiots (psmag November/December 2014 ).

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