You may have heard the term lately..” Dunning Kruger Cognitive bias”, but weren’t sure what that mean. The fact that you looked it says a lot about you.

This cognitive bias refers to when people know the very least about a subject but think they are the most knowledgeable person about the subject.

In 1999, a study was published by Justin Kruger and David Dunning that showed incompetent people were unable to recognize their own lack of expertise. To put it simply, they didn’t know what they didn’t know and assumed they knew it all.

A common example cited is of a student that takes one course, says, in psychology. They did well in class, were comfortable talking about their lessons, and got a grade of A on the final. At this point, they feel they know all there is to know.

If this student met someone graduating with a master’s in psychology. That student feels he has so much left to learn because he has been exposed to the vastness of the subject matter and experiences of those with years in the field. Meanwhile, the student that took the one class successfully may be confused about how what they mastered in one course could be dragged out to be an entire degree. They simply don’t know what they don’t know.


Have you ever heard anyone say any of the following..

” I know more about weather than anyone”

“I know more about windmills than anyone’

“I know more than the generals”

You can be sure that unless they have studied and worked in a field their entire life, they don’t.

It’s the Dunning Kruger Effect.

Also, those who ARE experts in a field will rarely make bold, all-inclusive statements about any situation because they know the answers must be nuanced to be fully accurate.

By BobJ

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