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Dunning-Kruger effect [View All]

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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-13 11:06 AM
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Dunning-Kruger effect
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The Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when incompetent people not only fail to realise their incompetence, but consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. Basically, they're too stupid to know that they're stupid.
If you have no doubts whatsoever about your brilliance, you could just be that damn good. On the other hand..


The effect is named after the valiant scientists who properly proved its existence in their seminal, 2000 Ig Nobel Prize winning<4> paper Unskilled and Unaware of It,<5> doubtless at great risk to personal sanity.
The idea that people who don't know enough also don't know enough to realise that they don't know enough ("Dunning-Kruger effect" is so much simpler to get your tongue around) isn't particularly new. Bertrand Russell in The Triumph of Stupidity in the mid 1930s said that "The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." Even earlier, Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man in 1871, stated "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge".
In his 1996 book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, Al Franken described the phenomenon of "pseudo-certainty" which was rampantly being displayed by pundits and politicians such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, who would use "common sense" as the basis for their confidently-made assertions, but without actually backing them up with time-consuming research or pesky facts. Franken prefers the term "being a fucking moron".
Following a 2008 study by Helmuth Nyborg, which showed a slight but significant negative correlation between religiosity and IQ,<6> Nyborg theorised that this is because "...people with a high intelligence are more skeptical" - in other words, those with higher intelligence will also be more doubting about their ability to be right, because they possess the cognitive ability to gauge themselves better.


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