Understanding the Dunning-Kruger effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is based on the lack of self-awareness and for people having a superiority mindset.
Representational image

Representational image

What is the Dunning-Kruger effect? 

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a psychological concept based on a 1999 research executed by the two psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger. According to this theory, it is based on the psychological cognitive bias of people who possess a wrong estimation of their own skills and knowledge and think that their view and opinion is only correct over others. It is basically caused due to lake of self-knowledge or self-consciousness.

In the research done by the two psychologists, executed research on some group of people under specific domain such as logic, grammar, and humour. The 65 participants were asked to determine how funny the jokes were.

The researcher found that the incompetent people were poor plus they were not able to estimate their own quality of work. This is because they consider themselves better and knowledgeable than others and were not able to estimate the competence level of other people. Dunning is with the view that the only problem with ignorance is that it leads to being over confident.

What are the causes of this effect?

According to Dunning and Kruger, the blunders were not only incompetent but they are not able to recognize how feckless they are.

Incompetence tends to:

• Over appraise their own abilities

• Not able to recognize the skill of others

• Not able to see their own drawbacks.

Who is more likely to be affected?

Everyone is affected by this as we aren't all knower. We all have an area where we may not have any idea or knowledge. We can have skills and experience in a specific area but we cannot expertise in everything.

We surprisingly experience such an effect on a regular basis. People who are experts in one area may wrongly believe that they can excel in other areas in which actually they are less aware or less knowledgeable.

The two psychologists found out that the one who is competent can recognize their own skill and knowledge. This category is not confident that their performances were actually superior to others. In this case, the issue is that they believe everyone else has the ability to be knowledgeable.

How can you avoid it?

Here are some ways to regain self-assessment of your own skills in a particular area and overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect:

• Keep on practicing and learning: learning never stops. Have more and more instances of learning about a topic you are good at. You'll realize there's so much to learn.

• Ask people about your performance: Constructive criticism helps you to build a better project. Ask others about your performance, take criticism. You'll have an idea about your drawbacks and the perception of other about your skills.

• Challenge your Ideas: Only learning more and getting feedback won't help as it can be easy for you to pay attention only at what you know. Challenge your expectations and ideas. Look for information that can challenge your ideas.

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