Dunning–Kruger effect

Let’s say your friend has only completed two semesters of the university and now he claims to have mastered many things in the field of medicine and can prescribe a prescription for the patient like other doctors.

What Is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people overestimate their abilities due to a lack of sufficient knowledge on that subject.

People who have the least information and knowledge about a certain field and cannot recognize their mistakes cause them to overestimate their skill level and experience the so-called Dunning-Kruger effect.

The Dunning-Kruger effect was first described by two psychologists from Cornell University named David Dunning and Justin Kruger. These two psychologists concluded during research that people with less information and skills have higher self-confidence than people with more skills.

For example, they are from a number of people who estimate their medical sense of humor. In this experiment, the participants who had high self-confidence usually estimated wrongly for example, people who had 12% ability considered their ability to be 62% and at the same time, the participants who did this very well had low self-confidence.

In this way, Dunning and Kruger discovered the problem of not being able to understand the level of individual ability and performance and they stated that people who have less-than-average knowledge not only make wrong conclusions but also make other mistakes based on the same wrong conclusion.

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Dunning Kruger chart

At the beginning of the article, we gave an example where your friend claims to have become a doctor by completing two semesters, in this case, your friend is at the peak of stupidity in the picture below. After a while, he realizes that he still doesn’t have the necessary skills and gets disappointed but if he continues his efforts, he will gradually gain a lot of experience and knowledge. Then, with perseverance and planning, he will become a professional.

dunning-kruger chart

Why can’t people recognize their ability and incompetence?

At the level of society, there are people who cannot accurately estimate their ability and competence due to their lack of metacognitive ability.
Metacognitive ability is an ability that people can use to evaluate their behavior and abilities from a general perspective and have an impartial view.

Who are affected by Dunning Kruger?

Dunning Kruger’s effect is not limited to a specific field or stratum, we all are sometimes affected by Dunning Kruger’s cognitive bias effect.

This happens usually in people who have no knowledge and expertise in some fields, then after acquiring the least possible amount of knowledge, they think that they have mastered all the parts of that field and are actually proficient in that field. The dunning-Kruger effect is observed not only among incompetent people but also among intelligent people sometimes

How to prevent the Dunning-Kruger effect?

No definite answer can be given to this question, however, people can prevent the Dunning-Kruger effect from happening, they must continuously and honestly measure the level of their knowledge and abilities and not blindly determine the level of their ability. People can find out how true their abilities are by challenging themselves and checking previous results.
Another solution is to ask their friends and colleagues to give them constructive criticism or necessary advice and ask experts in that field to teach them their weaknesses.

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The Dunning-Kruger effect is one of the cognitive biases that can affect our behavior and decisions and make us make mistakes in our decisions.
The Dunning-Kruger effect shows how people with the least ability and intelligence show themselves to be more than they really are. Or even, on the contrary, there are people who underestimate themselves and think that all people can undertake and perform their duties as easily.
These effects will have detrimental results for both groups. What other examples of Dunning-Kruger effect bias do you know? Do you have an experience that you would like to share with us?

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