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Dunning-Kruger Effect


Local time
Tomorrow, 03:45
Nov 30, 2015
Ideas for how the Dunning-Kruger effect works?
I think it may have to do with how we reflect upon our achievements, and how they are given less significance as they become less relevant. Relevance works as a power law, the higher the relevance, the faster it becomes less relevant. The genius being more aware, things would seem more relevant, and would, therefore, decrease faster, vice versa for the idiot. I have only read about the evidence, not the explanation if there is one.


Active Member
Local time
Today, 19:45
May 26, 2016
Simply put, the more you know of a subject, the better your perspective on this whole subject so you are better aware of all the things that you don't know or master (yet).
I think you definately have a point, happiness/achievement/ambition is not so much about being far on the path of life, but about keeping on moving.

Dunning-Kruger can also be a psychological self-defence mechanism, so that stupid people can feel worthy too. Good for them, the disadvantage is that it also means they have less respect (than they should in my humble opinion) for more competent people*

*I don't mean that competent people are intrinsically better than stupid people, simply because there is no universal metric of how good a person is. It is rather for practical purposes that I believe the competent ones -at least if they use their competence for good- should be respected, because they are more able to improve everyone's lives by doing their thing, but they also must balance the 'doing their thing' with their own needs.


think again losers
Local time
Tomorrow, 03:15
Mar 17, 2011
Dunning and Kruger attributed it to meta-knowledge, as Turnevies said.

Take math as an example. A person who has done primary school level maths might think themselves good at it because they never failed any of their classes. But if you go and do a degree in maths you'll attain some sense of just how much more to maths there is that simple multiplication. The graduate will see just how much the school dropout doesn't know, but also how much they are yet to know themselves. Compare this to the dropout, who considers themselves good at maths (having not experienced anything different), and probably thinks the graduate some kind of genius (even if they're pretty average compared to other people completing the same course).

People intrinsically want to see themselves as competent, and if they're not given a reason to believe this false, they will just assume it.


Local time
Today, 18:45
Mar 28, 2017
I personally think there needs to be a third category in this order. The intelligent one thinks he is dumb, and the dumb one thinks of himself as smart. But one who has sat down and worked out what one knows and does not know about a particular subject, will then be in a situation to confidently talk about things he knows and humbly accept ignorance on the parts he doesn't. In a fact based subject, this will work perfectly. It will work, also, in a subject in which experience counts.

Would be interested in knowing other opinions about this.


rational romantic
Local time
Today, 10:45
Feb 20, 2015
People intrinsically want to see themselves as competent, and if they're not given a reason to believe this false, they will just assume it.
^ this.

i think that someone with limited faculties may have less meta-knowledge of a topic, and therefore an inaccurate perspective of how much they actually know. if they've received demeaning criticism for their relative inability, then their ego may seek for self-validation to heal its wounds, leading to a narcissistic affect as well. but while these things may amplify the Dunning-Kruger effect, i don't think they're necessarily the primary causality behind it. seeing that this effect is so common, it may well be due to the normal functioning of the worldview and how it plays into the ego (as Hadoblado alluded to).

it is an innate human instinct to want to believe one is right - that we have a correct perception of things as they are. without some extent of this confidence, we wouldn't be able to navigate life and survive; we'd constantly be in doubt about how to approach things. but what i've noticed is that the less conscious intelligence someone has, the more subject to their default instincts they tend to be. without the intellectual ability to first identify these impulses, and then question them in order to recognize their subjective nature, one will be lead quite blindly by them. and so the person of lesser intelligence will tend to just assume their view of things is correct, and that they have a competent approach to the world; they will be overcome by the impulse to think highly of their ability to understand. someone whom has a greater level of ability to put their instincts into perspective will more likely see their own inaccuracy in perception and belief, and therefore be humbled and learn to question their conclusions. in addition to this, intellectually active people who can clearly explain themselves may be more likely to get into debates where their opinions are challenged. this in itself forces one to reconsider their accuracy, and leads to a more realistic perception of their knowledge and achievements.


One atom of me
Local time
Today, 18:45
Jul 27, 2013
Between concrete walls
I dont know really what this effect means, but Ill try to answer anyway.
The problem is that you need information to feed your brain and its very likely the brain assumes it has enough of information based on how saturated your mind is at the moment. Lot of people assume that if their mind is saturated with information it automatically means they know enough and that if they know enough that there is nothing else to know.

It all leads me to believe that a lot of people say stuff like you can find anything on internet, yet very few people realise there is quantum of information out there that no one even bothered to upload to internet. Yet they think that google is somehow omniscient. Wikipedia is for example good source, but if you end your research at wikipedia you have likely learned nothing, yet lof people think that wikipedia is a source that can give you all you need.

Same is with school. Very few people realise that what you learn in school is only fragment of what information there really is to be known in order to say that you actually know something. So commonly smart people go to college and breeze through and yet they never achive anything noteworthy in life. A students by the way.

Intelligent people have blind spots and they often dont see them because they are too proud of their intellect to admit to themselves that they actually missed something. One thing I hate most is intelligent people preaching. Its dangerous because often times they are correct yet, they too have blind spots and that means that sometimes they too are completely wrong and have no clue. So sometimes its easier to be asking questions stupid people rather than intelligent ones. The stupid ones are at least nice enough to tell you that they have not got a single clue. But then there are stupid people who dont know jack and still have hard time saying "I dont know" because they like to see themselves as smart people.
Over all faking competence is a new modern disease and is very dangerous.
Lucky we have internet and wikipedia so if anyone is bullshitting us we can always go on the internet and fact check and tell them they are infact full of shit.

Very few people including smart and otherwise intelligent people are capable of admitting they are wrong and have no clue and its very often the case they think themselves as competent and fully equiped with knowledge they need despite the fact that they commited little time to think things through. I mean how often you meet someone who has actually thought about something in depth not just read something or heard something. How many people actually have habit of being studious enough to go over every fact. In college its very common to study fast and never attempt to understand things in depth. I used to think that colleges were for smart people, but after I went there and saw the way stuff is studied I just left and realised I can pretty much do the same thing at home in my own time, stress free, and absolutly thorughly without trying to fake my understanding and actually just go into depth and prepare each sujbect in order to go and think about everything to the point I actually know everything I want to know and need to know.

But obviously this wasnt about DK effect. I just wanted to point out my observation. What scientific merit does DK effect I havent got a clue. What it really is. I mean is there really an explanation for why people over estimate their knowledge?


Spiritual "Woo"
Local time
Today, 12:45
Jan 24, 2013
I did some reflecting on whether I think I am "stupid" or not.

On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is that you put new information to use very effectively if it helps you and 10 is not being able to live without being dependent on someone else, I would prolly put myself at around a 6.
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