Ignorance Begetting Confidence?

If you’re one of those “tea party” people, go look up the Dunning-Kruger effect. That’s what I think of the tea party. Now move along, nothing to see here.

I read that quote from an online dating site profile I was perusing this morning. The woman was describing who she did not want contacting her. I was curious, so I Googled on the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”:

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.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is


I would also include global climate change deniers, people in the anti-vaccine crowd and other deniers who do not respect expertise.

No disrespect to anyone, most people have their blind spots and I know that I certainly have some. I have also been told more than once and I agree that I tend to be negative. So, we all have our problems.

I don’t know if the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” is a real term or field of study in psychology, but I also found it interesting as I have seen many articles about the epidemic of narcissism in the U.S.. Aside from being an adult spoiled child and the self involvement, narcissists also have the problem of “being legends in their own mind”. I find that to be a humiliating insult added to the injury of having a neurosis.

Finding this term made we wonder if the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” is just another name for one of the limbs of the narcissism epidemic.

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2 thoughts on “Ignorance Begetting Confidence?”

  1. I had not heard of this phenomenon until now, although when I took social psych we did review a lot of studies showing that people, in general, tend to think they’re above average when they aren’t. The Dunning-Kruger papers are published in a pretty good journal. If you read the rest of the Wikipedia article, they state that the effect seems to be the opposite in Asian cultures.

  2. I did notice that, that is what made me wonder how it relates to the “narcissism epidemic” as that seems to be an American thing and a “thing” with a “legend in your own mind” component.

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