A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Little Skill, Big Head: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Speaking of certainty and uncertainty (in yesterday’s post), I want to call attention to the phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Have you heard about it? I think it’s fascinating!

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is the name for a particular kind of cognitive bias (like a mental error) that causes people to overestimate their abilities. The name was born from the psychological studies performed by David Dunning and Justin Kruger and published in 1999. The studies showed that, in a given area of skill (such as chess, math, reading comprehension, driving, etc.), people tend to have more confidence about their skill level when their skill level is actually low, and less confidence when their skill level is high.

(If you want to learn more, here is the Wikipedia page [primary references are at the bottom], and here’s an engaging article about the Dunning-Kruger Effect from a Psychology Today blog.)

Interesting, no? Awareness of the Dunning-Kruger Effect nudges me to remember that my mind can play tricks on me and that in every area of life, I need to keep learning and staying open to feedback about ways I can improve, so my skills will get larger and my head will get smaller.

Big-head me

Big-head me


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This entry was posted on October 29, 2013 by in Discoveries from Learning and tagged , , , .
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