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Thread: Dunning–Kruger effect

  1. #11
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Then why have them talk to each other???
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  2. #12
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Then why have them talk to each other???
    meh. Don't pay attention to Epoetker. He suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  3. #13
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    meh. Don't pay attention to Epoetker. He suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  4. #14
    tWebber sylas's Avatar
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    It's a well known effect; I hear the term used quite a lot.

    The name comes from a research paper, or rather a series of papers and studies by Justin Kruger and David Dunning of the department of psychology at Cornell University. The classic reference is:

    Kruger, J; Dunning D (1999) Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 77(6), Dec 1999, 1121-1134.

    Abstract People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of the participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.

    There's a Wikipedia page on the Dunning Kruger effect; and you'll often see the term used freely in discussions of science related subjects where there tend to be strong opinions held by regular folks who don't actually have any background in the science involved. Classic examples include climate, evolutionary biology, vaccination, cosmology, relativity, economics, and so on.

    There's big irony here! The paper itself is a technical psychology paper, and the term "Dunning Kruger effect" is arguably being used in many contexts that doesn't really fit well with the specific research and evidence from the Dunning Kruger papers; by people who don't know technical psychology behind the origins of the term. Maybe. In any case, not being a psychologist, I'm not confident of my own ability to look at the psychology behind trivial errors being made with great confidence; so I avoid using the term lest I end up doing the same thing.

    The wikipedia article offers another older reference for the basic underlying idea:

    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. As you like it; Shakespeare

  5. #15
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    How do you test 'humor'? Or logic, for that matter (following the rules and being able to express it formally are different things)?



    The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15, NIV, BLB

  6. #16
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Proverbs: giving wise insights of people thousands of years before Psychologists. Think psychology reinvents the wheel? Ancient wisdom literature and philosophers were very insightful.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  7. #17
    tWebber sylas's Avatar
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    I don't think you need to pit it as "psychologists vs ancient wisdom: which is better? who was first?"

    In point of fact, there's a big difference between the wisdom expressed in proverbs and the specific hypothesis being tested by Dunning and Kruger; one major difference is "scope". Dunning and Kruger's hypothesis is less general, and more specific (limited) than the proverbs; it deals specifically with how well individuals estimate their own ability in intellectual subjects. It isn't really about being a fool, so much a hypothesis that people tasked with estimating their own ability in a field are likely to overestimate if they lack solid background to help be more realistic on their own abilities.

    One of the studies suggested that a basic level of tutoring in a subject has the effect of helping people get a better appreciation of where their own ability stands even before there is much change in their abilities from the tutoring. There are also some indications that the results have a cultural aspect; some cultures (in Asia?) may present an inverted effect in which non experts are inclined to underestimate their ability. And so on.

    Dunning Kruger effect is not a proverb; but a hypothesis in psychology.

    Cheers -- sylas

  8. #18
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    I wasn't trying to pit them against each other. It's just interesting that we've been figuring ourselves out for as long as we've existed.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  9. #19
    tWebber sylas's Avatar
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    Sure! "The proper study of mankind is man"

    Though on checking that quote, it may be more controversial at tweb than I had first realized:



    Know then thyself, presume not God to scan

    The proper study of Mankind is Man.
    Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
    A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
    With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
    With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
    He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
    In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
    In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
    Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
    Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
    Whether he thinks too little, or too much;
    Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
    Still by himself, abus'd or disabus'd;
    Created half to rise and half to fall;
    Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
    Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
    The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

    Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,

    Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
    Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
    Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
    Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
    To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
    Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
    And quitting sense call imitating God;
    As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
    And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
    Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
    Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!


    (Alexander Pope 1734)

  10. #20
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    I think there is a parallel here between 'task' and knowledge,. In general the more knowledgeable scientists are about their specialty the more humble they are about the nature of their knowledge, and they are willing to question their results, particularly in science.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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