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The Dunning-Kruger Effect

May 20, 2009

dilbert_bossI was wondering why some incompetent people think they are smarter than everyone else, but when bested in a battle of wits, they still think they won and are proud of it. 

Well, a verifiable effect is at work:

The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which “people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average. This leads to a perverse result where people with less competence will rate their ability more highly than people with relatively more competence.

I had a housemate a number of years back who infuriatingly exhibited daily signs of this behavior, but I also think this idea can be applied to the political world as well.

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