Archive for May, 2015

The Dunning–Kruger effect. No, it’s not yet another episode of the hilarious “Big Bang Theory” show. It’s a real, serious scientific thing.

As a kid, I’ve always wondered whether people who are really dumb have a way know that they are really dumb. If they lack the intellectual faculties to spot intellectual faculties, then they are stuck in a loophole that is way worst than anything the devious French administration could ever invent. No? Yes, the answer is yes.

According to the mighty Wikipedia, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby unskilled individuals mistakenly assess their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Conversely, highly skilled individuals tend to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others. As David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude: “The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.” End quote.

Or, as Franck Courchamp of Paris Sud University concludes: “Geniuses are too aware of the possibilities not to focus on their own limitswhile dumbs are too dumb to get that they are dumb”. That’s quite related to the “impostor syndrome” that I discussed earlier here.

The good news is, if you thought you were not that smart, you are probably underestimating yourself, and are much smarter than you feel. The bad news is, now that you know you may be smart, you should start wondering whether you’re not “miscalibrating” a bit. You stupid.

Intelligence

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