The Dunning-Kruger Effect: A Poisonous Paradox

3-Star learning experiences

By Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

Does the following sound familiar to you? You’re discussing a topic that you know quite a lot about and which you have probably spent many years studying and mastering. Suddenly someone who knows nothing about the subject interjects some kind of statement that makes no sense at all, however (s)he has a very strong opinion and seems to think that (s)he is quite competent. Not only that: (s)he’s convinced that (s)he’s right and that you’re wrong! And whatever you say or do, your discussion partner doesn’t bend; (s)he sticks to her/his guns. Well, this happens to the two of us all the time. It’s frustrating and annoying to us grumpy but (fairly) knowledgeable people and it’s known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Dunning Kruger

Psychologists Justin Kruger and David Dunning published an article in 1999; Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own…

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