Dunning-Kruger Effect

We all know that guy. That guy, who thinks he’s the shit at Halo when he’s actually garbage. That guy, who claims to be amazing at soccer, but can’t even dribble a ball past the defender. That guy, who talks about how good he is at something, when in actuality, he completely sucks. We all know him — he’s a dick, and no one likes him.

Moments before: "Hey guys, wanna see how awesome I am? Look what I can do!"

We’ve wondered for a long time, “From whence does this dick come? Why does he act so dickish?” Well, it seems there’s finally an answer. In psychology, there’s this thing called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which basically states that, if someone’s good at something, they underestimate their level of skill, and if someone’s crap at something, they underestimate their level of crappiness.

Shut up, you knew a picture of her was coming as soon as I mentioned inadequacy.


Apparently, the Dunning-Kruger effect actually details four separate “symptoms.” Those who are incompetent at a given ability will:

  1. fail to accurately assess their own level of skill (grossly overestimating it)
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others
  3. fail to recognize the extent to which they suck at the skill
  4. finally appreciate how much they actually sucked before, if they get better. It’s a big “if,” I know.

At this point, I start wondering if being smart is a skill. Because that would imply that stupid people 1) believe they’re smart, 2) believe smart people are dumb, and 3) believe other stupid people are smart too. And that’s how stupidity comes to power.

Closer to the truth than you'd like to acknowledge.

We’re all screwed.

P.S. I know that at some point, someone who is way smarter than me will read this post and think, “Wow, this guy is a perfect example of what this whole article bitches about!” And to this person, I say, “Fuck you. You’re probably right.”


One response to “Dunning-Kruger Effect

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