The Dunning-Kruger effect

In the field of Psychology, this is more commonly known as a cognitive bias where “people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability greater than it is.

In 1999, two psychologists from Cornell University – David Dunning and Justin Kruger – published a paper entitled “Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognising one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessment“. Over several studies, they found that “participants scoring in the bottom quartile grossly overestimated their test performance and ability.” What did this mean?

“People who are incompetent at something are unable to recognize their own incompetence. Not only do they fail to recognize their incompetence, they’re also likely to feel confident that they actually are competent!”

It’s been 19 years since the published paper, and the fact is that the psychological phenomenon is as relevant today as it was before the technological and internet boom.

The study was done in the United States and I have to see some data with regards to the research being conducted among Filipinos, if we would see consistent data or not.

It’s very interesting because the global geopolitical landscape has dramatically shifted and it is without doubt that the Dunning-Kruger Effect is more relevant today than when it was first published. And this applies not only to the political field but encompasses even the medical, economic, academic and religious groups as well.

I write about this not as an expert in the field of psychology but to share interest in a topic that should make us pause and read up further on how to mitigate such cognitive bias.

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