Dunning-Kruger Effect.

I kept coming across the Dunning-Kruger phrase (two surnames) most specifically at Atheist blogs, so I just had to investigate its meaning. I’ll look for examples where it is applicable. The video explanation is very understandable.


Obsidian Wings: Why Argue On Blogs? The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Charles Darwin once noted,

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

We all know the modern man to whom Darwin refers: the unemployed “musician” who must inform all new acquaintences that he is, in fact, a musician (multiple times).

Read the rest here at Net Tuts.

I found a good political example of the DGE in Meta-Ignorance post at B&W

 September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am  Ophelia Benson

Dan Satterfield at AGU (whom I hadn’t read before: thanks Greg Ladenconnects the epistemology of the Tea Party (or rather of Tea Partiers) with the Dunning-Kruger effect and authoritarian thinking.

The Dunning–Kruger effect

“..is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from ..rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.”

To put this in plain language, you feel Fremdscham when that distant cousin launches into a speech on how aliens are visiting Earth at the family reunion. The reason he cannot see how silly he looks is because of the Dunning-Kruger effect. In other words, (to be blunt) he is too ignorant of his ignorance to realize he is making a fool of himself.”

The science cartoonist at xkcd offer a look into the twisted logic of those suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect

See also: Paul W on the social psychology of conformity http://shar.es/gwgiQ at B&W


May 12, 2011 at 9:21 am

I can’t tell if Mooney is being deliberately dishonest or if he’s a victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect – he knows so little, he thinks he’s an expert.

When I listen to the video a couple of times, I’ll surely recognise the phrase, whenever I come across it when reading blogs etc.

Dunning-Kruger as a Vicious Cycle By Daniel R. Hawes in Quilted Science.

 Dunning and Kruger often refer to a “double curse” when interpreting their findings: People fail to grasp their own incompetence, precisely because they are so incompetent. And since, overcoming their incompetence would first require the ability to distinguish competence form incompetence people get stuck in a vicious cycle.

“The skills needed to produce logically sound arguments, for instance, are the same skills that are necessary to recognize when a logically sound argument has been made. Thus, if people lack the skills to produce correct answers, they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers, or anyone else’s, are right or wrong. They cannot recognize their responses as mistaken, or other people’s responses as superior to their own.”

An aside“Angst” “Gemütlichkeit” and “Schadenfreude” (Schadenfreude itself is a combination of the German words Schaden and freude which mean damage and joy respectively) and “Fremdschämen” are also three very important German words used in English that are very well worth exploring.

Checking out “The Dunning-Kruger Effect Explains Liberals” on Freedom Pub: http://ning.it/xDO01R

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell once wrote that

“the trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

 This is true whether one interprets “stupid” as foolish (short on smarts) or as ignorant (short on information).

To reiterate:

Deliberately or otherwise, his sentiment echoes that of Charles Darwin, who over one hundred years ago pointed out that…

 “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

Spiked Math Comics – The Dunning-Kruger Effect:http://spikedmath.com/314.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s