The Dunning-Kruger Effect Is Probably Not Real

Take-home message:

  • The Dunning-Kruger effect was originally described in 1999 as the observation that people who are terrible at a particular task think they are much better than they are, while people who are very good at it tend to underestimate their competence
  • The Dunning-Kruger effect was never about “dumb people not knowing they are dumb” or about “ignorant people being very arrogant and confident in their lack of knowledge.”
  • Because the effect can be seen in random, computer-generated data, it may not be a real flaw in our thinking and thus may not really exist
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