Monday, June 13

Diagnosis

The Dunning-Kruger Effect: [Wikipedia] 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 less competent people will rate their own ability higher than relatively more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

See also, "My Name is Earl".

I don't know if there's a diagnosis for people who believe that Ms. Palin has core competencies that would make her fit to have control of nuclear weapons, but I'm betting there's a name for it.

3 comments:

tom said...

"Incurable" would be my diagnosis. Second choice: "Hopeless." Clueless also works. It boggles the mind.

Le Grand Lapin said...

You left out "dangerous".

tom said...

Indeed! I stand corrected.