Monday, September 25All That Matters

The problem with Dunning-Kruger

The problem with Dunning-Kruger

View Reddit by cj_cusackView Source


  • MusicusTitanicus

    Although not directly addressed in this comic, Dunning-Kruger refers specifically to perceived competence in a particular *skill* (e.g. carpentry) rather than (more abstractly) intelligence, an idea that permeates popular media.

  • Wendypants7

    I know it’s supposed to be funny but that IS the point of Dunning-Kruger:

    the stupid person *will not* be curious to learn more after learning how much they don’t know

    and the smart person will try to learn more after learning how much they don’t know.

    The confidence of the stupid is the infuriating part!

  • livefast6221

    The Dunning-Kruger effect describes the gap between self-perceived confidence and objective ability. It is an inverse effect in which people who are less objectively skilled vastly overestimate their abilities whereas those extremely objectively skilled feel that they are not nearly as competent. There are four phases to learning that are basically the life cycle of Dunning-Kruger:

    Unconscious incompetence: Essentially you don’t know what you don’t know. Many people live here forever completely unaware of how little they know about a subject and how wrong they are. These are the people often incorrectly associated with DK.

    Conscious incompetence: They have now learned enough to understand just how little they know, or in the case of the people actually being described by the Dunning-Kruger effect, vastly overestimate how much they now know. They know enough to be dangerous. It is not uncommon for people to stop here, either intimidated by the breadth of knowledge still unknown about the subject, or confident that they have learned enough that they can claim expertise.

    Conscious competence: You know about the subject and are relatively well-versed, but still aware of what you don’t know. When it comes to an actual skill (say driving or welding or playing the piano or performing surgery) this is the step where you know what you’re doing so long as you consciously think about every step and every movement of your body. Part of the Dunning-Kruger effect is that this group of people have the least amount of confidence in their skills. They’re aware of their limitations, they know what it takes to excel and they feel like it’ll never become second nature.

    Unconscious competence: Finally you have mastered the skill/subject. You drive without consciously thinking about how you’re operating the vehicle, you can perform an appendectomy in your sleep, and you can speak expertly on whatever subject you’ve mastered. Counterintuitively, these people are the most likely to continue to seek out more and more knowledge in the field.

  • rnike879

    Why not? You gain confidence, realize it’s misplaced, so you put in more effort to regain that sense of confidence, then you repeat the process until you’re a depressed doctorate

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.