Why incompetent people think they’re amazing – David Dunning

Why incompetent people think they’re amazing – David Dunning


Are you as good at things
as you think you are? How good are you at managing money? What about reading people’s emotions? How healthy are you
compared to other people you know? Are you better than average at grammar? Knowing how competent we are and how are skill stack up
against other people’s is more than a self-esteem boost. It helps us figure out when we can forge
ahead on our own decisions and instincts and when we need, instead,
to seek out advice. But psychological research suggests
that we’re not very good at evaluating ourselves accurately. In fact, we frequently overestimate
our own abilities. Researchers have a name
for this phenomena, the Dunning-Kruger effect. This effect explains
why more than 100 studies have shown that people display
illusory superiority. We judge ourselves as better than others to a degree that violates
the laws of math. When software engineers at two companies
were asked to rate their performance, 32% of the engineers at one company
and 42% at the other put themselves in the top 5%. In another study, 88% of American drivers described themselves
as having above average driving skills. These aren’t isolated findings. On average, people tend to rate
themselves better than most in disciplines ranging from health,
leadership skills, ethics, and beyond. What’s particularly interesting
is that those with the least ability are often the most likely to overrate
their skills to the greatest extent. People measurably poor
at logical reasoning, grammar, financial knowledge, math, emotional intelligence, running medical lab tests, and chess all tend to rate their expertise almost
as favorably as actual experts do. So who’s most vulnerable to this delusion? Sadly, all of us because we all have
pockets of incompetence we don’t recognize. But why? When psychologists Dunning and Kruger
first described the effect in 1999, they argued that people lacking
knowledge and skill in particular areas suffer a double curse. First, they make mistakes
and reach poor decisions. But second, those same knowledge gaps also
prevent them from catching their errors. In other words, poor performers lack
the very expertise needed to recognize how badly they’re doing. For example, when the researchers studied participants in
a college debate tournament, the bottom 25% of teams
in preliminary rounds lost nearly four
out of every five matches. But they thought they were winning
almost 60%. WIthout a strong grasp
of the rules of debate, the students simply couldn’t recognize
when or how often their arguments broke down. The Dunning-Kruger effect isn’t a question
of ego blinding us to our weaknesses. People usually do admit their deficits
once they can spot them. In one study, students who had initially
done badly on a logic quiz and then took a mini course on logic were quite willing to label
their original performances as awful. That may be why people with a moderate
amount of experience or expertise often have less confidence
in their abilities. They know enough to know that
there’s a lot they don’t know. Meanwhile, experts tend to be aware
of just how knowledgeable they are. But they often make a different mistake: they assume that everyone else
is knowledgeable, too. The result is that people,
whether they’re inept or highly skilled, are often caught in a bubble
of inaccurate self-perception. When they’re unskilled,
they can’t see their own faults. When they’re exceptionally competent, they don’t perceive how unusual
their abilities are. So if the Dunning-Kruger effect
is invisible to those experiencing it, what can you do to find out how good
you actually are at various things? First, ask for feedback from other people, and consider it,
even if it’s hard to hear. Second, and more important, keep learning. The more knowledgeable we become, the less likely we are to have
invisible holes in our competence. Perhaps it all boils down
to that old proverb: When arguing with a fool, first make sure the other person
isn’t doing the same thing.

100 thoughts on “Why incompetent people think they’re amazing – David Dunning

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  2. THEY THINK THEY'RE SO GREAT CAUSE UNLIKE SOME OF US THEY DON'T DO COMPARISONS OF THEMSELVES AND OTHERS TOO MUCH

  3. A guy holds the highest position in government and thinks he is "stable genius" and " nobody knows banking, negotiating, trading better than him." Does he fit your title of the video?

  4. Wil you pretty please turn on the caption autogeneration function, to make your video accessible? I don't even get lipreading or facial expressions in this one.

  5. This is really epic and I liked it, the animations were fun to watch and this information will help me now and in the future, thank you for this great content 🙂

  6. I don't think this is apparent in Finnish culture, also I state myself above average in subjects when I have solid proof. This only reminds me of American people I have interacted with

  7. Donald Trump epitomizes the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    "I know words- I have the best words…"
    -DJT

  8. Other than driving at night, I am pretty good at everything I do.
    I would rate myself 6 1/2-7 out of 10

  9. Other than driving at night, I am pretty good at everything I do.
    I would rate myself 6 1/2-7 out of 10

  10. These videos looks interesting and they start off great, but that voice is too goddamn resident sleeper and I can't keep up with it, so I loose track and stop paying attention, then i have to rewind to see where I left off.

  11. This is an idea that has been wandering around in my head for quite some time. I am glad to see it defined and explained so thoughtfully. Thanks, TED-Ed!

  12. What if you won't admit you're wrong even when it's been demonstrated to you over and over? In other words, what if you're Donald Trump?

  13. Well I feel scared of other people … I think everyone is better than me … Is there a term for it

  14. Now you see the problem with women, their decision making skills in choosing relationships with guys, and their outcomes.
    .

    They produce these offspring, and the cycle continues.

    Welcome to society 2019

  15. I take it serious but unfortunately i can't get the point clearly because of my poor english. Can you guys in this channel add subtitles in every videos next to come? I will really thankful if so. Tnx.

  16. Really poor and inaccurate elaboration. Makes people doubt their competence and feel dependent on other’s opinion. Thumb down Ted.

  17. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d78712a58a3b14d09c887a6a01dd043a44c4dde231a66df47861efc7d0ba12c6.jpg

  18. I am the opposite.
    People thinks I am better than them, but I am think I am not. I am self critical, I think a lot about what I had done wrong and was it my fault or is there any way to solve it, is there any way to improve myself. The universe is very big and we know a very little about it.

  19. I have a friend who always goes on about how she’s smarter than everyone else and says she’s really smart when her grades are average 😬😬😬

  20. Well,im curious about my self what kind of a person i am and this video hits which make me realize and thanks for that,

  21. My parents and friends think I'm smart but I really just average. I am very driven towards my goals and that's what keeps on making me work harder than the competition.
    I am also very concerned about what people think of me even though I pretend that I am not and noone knows about it, this really influences my performances on tasks or tests

  22. I'm watching this for the second time. The last time I watched I was like I'm not one of them but today I come here realising how wrong I was.

  23. We'll for incompetent people getting dressed in the morning is quite the achievement although having ones pantaloons on backwards can be fun …

  24. Right now, all I can say is I couldn’t get past 47 seconds of this video due to the competence of the person who edited this video. Why? The background music is so darn loud I can’t concentrate on the talk. There’s a reason it’s called ‘background ‘. But no. The editor had to make sure it was loud and clear.

  25. Dont ask for feedback of your friends, they wouldnt admit youre better than them in any aspect.
    Ask for feedback to a master at that specific thing.

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