May 9, 2017

Dunning-Kruger effect or why Layman does not understand his incompetence

People who by nature devoid of humor, love to tell jokes. Motorists, barely able to stay in their lane, love to teach others to operate the machine. Managers who do not have even basic ideas about the scope in which they work, experts like to call on the carpet and blame them for what they do not understand their work. Why are all these people so grossly incompetent and allegedly do not even notice it?

This is due to the so-called effect Dunning-Kruger: people with low intelligence, a modest level and narrow horizons, because of its modest ability cannot understand that the decisions they make false and talents that they themselves give, – false. That is why they think that they are right in all their actions and understand better than others understand the situation. Later this attitude assumes the character of psychological defense, limited man begins to defend his vision of the situation is that feeling – Suffer it only opinion that is not right and it will press from their homes more talented.

However, it is in talented and observed the opposite effect: they understand the complexity of the laws of reality and how wide a field of knowledge, which in the future can learn – it leads them to underestimate their abilities and underestimate their place in society. “I know that I know nothing” – repeating sage Socrates, who was more than modest life and always was attacked by fools, self-righteous. Is anyone capable of limited people admit this? It seems not.

The effect was theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed in 1999

The theoretical basis for hypotheses observations were great philosophers. Sam Dunning quoted statements of Charles Darwin: “Ignorance more frequently creates confidence than knowledge” and Bertrand Russell: “One of the unpleasant features of our time is that those who feel confident fools, and those who have at least some imagination and understanding full of doubt and indecision. ” A practical inspiration, strangely enough, served as an offense, and curious. Authors interested in the strange case of MacArthur Wheeler robber who robbed one after the other two banks, before this face smeared with lemon juice, because he believed that lemon juice makes his face appear on the records of surveillance cameras. Psychologists admired the depth of the incompetence of a man who did not even try to check the correctness of his views, although the error was threatened with prison.

Gathering in a room of people working in different fields, but who were thus entirely different level of real knowledge, the authors of the experiment gave them a questionnaire, which asked to check their level of expertise in the area in which they worked, and then undergo a series of tests allowed to set the level of their competence. The results of these two tests was drawn graph that demonstrated the dependence of real knowledge of people’s confidence that they are well versed in their field.

Schedule looked like a parabola flawed: in the left part of it, where they are less competent members of experimentation, it reached its climax – one hundred percent values ​​of self-knowledge. It then fell sharply – the vast majority of people are not bad versed in his profession, had an extremely low opinion of their experience and skills. Toward the end of the curve rose again – here were the best of the best, true experts in their field, who could not understand what they understand it much better than most other professionals do.

Yet the real confidence of experts reached nearly two-thirds of the scale at the thought of their own skills and knowledge, which are full of distinguished nonprofessional. As established Dunning and Kruger Layman not only overestimated their competence, but also were not able to adequately assess the professionals who have high skill level in the same area. In addition, they sincerely believed not that have made mistakes in the tests related to their professional activities – most remained in his mind even after they pointed out their mistakes and logically substantiated their wrongness.

Since then Dunning-Kruger effect repeatedly confirmed by other researchers. In particular, it has been tested on students department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Florydy2 and a broad sample of practitioners therapeutic. The fact that to test conclusions psychologists, first took up the doctors wary.

However, the hope that the blind, unable to see the abyss of our ignorance and knowledge shining peaks that reach other people can improve, still exists. Dunning and Kruger offered profane undergo special training course where they not only give knowledge related to their profession, but also the idea of ​​the methods by which you can get real indicators of competence. These methods allowed checking as other professional and own real level. Following the training Layman realized its former level of incompetence – and even if their professional level after not increased.

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