Dunning-Kruger Effect, Why People Don’t Realize They Are Ignorant

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a hypothesis that people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability, and that people with high ability at a task underestimate their own ability.

Gaining a small amount of knowledge in an area about which one was previously ignorant can make people feel as though they’re suddenly experts.

Scientists Dunning and Kruger tested participants in their study on their logic, grammar, and sense of humor, and found that those who performed in the bottom rated their skills far above average. For example, those in the 12th percentile self-rated their expertise to be, on average, in the 62nd percentile. In other words they got a 12, an F out of 100 but rated themselves as getting a D- or 62 percent, still not a good score.

I have experienced this phenomenon myself. I pointed out to person on Facebook that vaccine passports are a good thing, they prevent people with covid from infecting other people. That the unvaccinated make up 95-99% of those in the hospital for covid and that 95-99% of those that die from covid are unvaccinated. These are facts and this person would not acknowledge them.

“Those with limited knowledge in a domain suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach mistaken conclusions and make regrettable errors, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.”

The Dunning-Kruger effect combined with the effect of the monkeysphere results in an inability to realize when one is wrong. Wrong about a question, an idea, a topic. Such people don’t follow the guidelines of science and follow the scientific method. I don’t always follow the scientific method either but I do relentlessly read about topics to insure I am fully informed or at least as informed as I could be. People falling victim to the monkeysphere believe and trust those in their ingroup and distrust and disbelieve those in their outgroup. Combined with the Dunning-Kruger effect we are faced with a serious conundrum, where not only are people trusting the wrong sources of information, only people in their ingroup instead of also people in their outgroup, they are trusting the wrong sources of information due to failures in metacognition, awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.

Some reasons people can be misled about their knowledge on a subject is confidence is highly prized and that many people would rather pretend to be smart or skilled than risk looking inadequate and losing face.

Many people would rate themselves as above average in intelligence, humor, and a variety of skills. These people can’t accurately judge their own competence, because they lack metacognition, or the ability to step back and examine oneself objectively. In fact, those who are the least skilled are also the most likely to overestimate their abilities.

So next time you hear that a group of people are chanting down with politician X, and, politician Y will make America great again, recognize just how much the Dunning-Kruger effect and the monkeysphere is having on this person which explains this person’s simplistic political views.

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