In this society there are many people who suffer from the Dunning-Kurger effect, but do not even know it. They are usually people who talk about a topic but do not really know what they are saying or who think they are right about something, when in fact they are not.

Who does it usually affect? Everyone sometime. No matter how informed you are on a topic or how experienced you are, we all have behind in which we are not informed or even in which there is some incompetence. You may be smart and skilled in many areas, but no one is an expert in everything.

It is necessary I will highlight the Dunning-Kruger effect is not synonymous with having a low coefficient intellectual . It is too easy to judge others and believe that it would never happen to you. The reality is that we are all susceptible to this phenomenon, and in fact, most of us probably experience it with surprising regularity. 

People who are genuine experts in one area may mistakenly believe that their intelligence and knowledge carry over to other areas with which they are less familiar.  A brilliant scientist, for example, could be a very poor writer.  For the scientist to recognize his own lack of ability, he must have a good working knowledge of things like grammar and composition. Because they are lacking, the scientist in this example also lacks the ability to recognize his own poor performance.

So if the incompetent tend to think they are experts, what do genuine experts think of their own abilities? Dunning and Kruger, the “fathers” of this effect, found that those at the higher end of the skill spectrum had more realistic views of their own knowledge and capabilities. However, they tend to think that their abilities are less skilled in relation to others.

Essentially, these more knowledgeable people know that they are better than others in a particular area, but they are not convinced of how superior they perform compared to others. The problem in this case is not that the experts do not know how well informed they are; it is that they tend to believe that everyone else is well informed as well.

How to overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect

While we are all prone to experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect , learning more about how the mind works and the mistakes we are all susceptible to could be a step towards correcting such patterns.

When people learn more about topics of interest they begin to recognize their own lack of knowledge and ability. Then, as people have more information, they become experts on a topic, and their confidence levels improve. But how can you have a more realistic assessment of your own abilities in a particular area if you are not sure you can trust your own self-assessments?

    • Keep learning and practice . Instead of assuming you know everything there is to know about a topic, keep digging. You can always keep learning, you never know everything about everything!
    • Ask other people. Ask others and ask for constructive criticism. The perception of others can make you reflect on your own abilities.
  • Question what you know. Even if you learn a lot about a topic, question everything you learn. Challenge your beliefs and your expectations , seek information to be able to do this.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is one of many cognitive biases that can affect your behaviors and decisions, from mundane to life-changing decisions. While it may be easier to recognize the phenomenon in others, it is important to remember that it is something that affects everyone. By understanding the underlying causes that contribute to this psychological bias , you may be able to spot these trends in yourself and find ways to overcome them. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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