Why Do Incompetent People Think They're So Great?

Why Do Incompetent People Think They're So Great?

Psychologist David Dunning has long studied people's awareness of their own thinking processes, focusing specifically on how we view our expertise. He's found that, by and large, the people who are least qualified to be experts are the ones who consider themselves experts. They tend to display an entirely undeserved confidence rather than any doubt in their abilities. Actual experts, meanwhile, are more likely to question their knowledge with a humble attitude.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger found that people who scored lower on competency tests were more likely to consider themselves very competent. (0:41)

  • 2

    Illusory superiority, also known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, has been observed in several fields, from firearm usage to debates. (1:32)

  • 3

    Research indicates that competent people are more likely to underestimate their abilities than incompetent people. (2:04)

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