Do you believe that someone who is incompetent at a task can actually believe they are excellent?
Is it true that someone who is very competent doesn’t rate their performance?
Well apparently its true!
Two psychologists, Dunning and Kruger, were working on the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler.
He robbed two banks while his face was covered with lemon juice!
He believed it made it invisible to the surveillance cameras but his belief was based on his misunderstanding of the chemical properties of lemon juice as an invisible ink!
In order to understand the phenomenon we need to think about what a person’s knowledge and experience allows them to use as a judgement of their capabilities.
A person who has limited knowledge sees themselves as a big fish in a small pond. Hence the over assessment of their capabilities.
On the other hand a person who has developed their knowledge to a much greater extent understands their knowledge in a much larger context but actually then underestimates their capabilities.
A key learning from the Dunning Kruger Effect is we need to expand our knowledge and accept feedback to ensure that we really are aware of our true performances.
Have you seen examples of this effect in action?