How To Know If You Are Suffering From Dunning-Kruger

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a plague that strangles the progress of humanity. It is the fact that those who suck overestimate their ability, while those who don’t underestimate their ability.

Dunning-Kruger is what keeps money flowing to the confident and inept, only for these funds to be set ablaze in a bonfire of incompetence. Once the fire is out, a new flame burns as the cycle repeats. Those who possess true skill often do not have the self confidence to start their own fire. Perhaps this is why we don’t have our flying car.

How do you know if you suffer from Dunning-Kruger? By definition, nobody really knows; both parties are oblivious. The key is in the second element of the hypothesis: those who lack skill fail to recognize it in others.

If you’ve been responsible for a direct hire, how did that person turn out? If you’ve recommended people for jobs, how have they performed? Perhaps the only way to recognize if you are a Dunning-Kruger sufferer is to use this test to see whether you can identify true skill in others.

How do I fare? After a cursory assessment of candidates I’ve interviewed and people I’ve recommended for positions, I think I’ve got a pretty good track record. The majority of the individuals and firms I’ve recommended to others have done exceedingly well at their jobs. Also, my reservations about those I’ve interviewed have been largely proven true–At least when dealing with my own area of expertise.

I like to say that I’m just smart enough to know I’m a complete idiot. But, when it comes to Dunning-Kruger, It’s not enough to be humble. You could be faking it.

12 thoughts on “How To Know If You Are Suffering From Dunning-Kruger

  1. Wow lol makes me wonder am i really inept and just bloating my self confidence like some sort of egocentric blowfish or am I more capable than I realize and just unaware of my degree of potential ? I’ll definitely have to go back and observe my talent evaluation skills!

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  4. Actually, by definition, EVERYBODY has Dunning-Kruger on some subjects. Nobody is really smart about every subject in the world. And if the theory is correct, we’ll never know which subjects we are doing the “Dunning-Kruger dance” to. (I have to credit This American Life episode 585, “In Defense of Ignorance” for the term Dunning-Kruger dance. In that episode they interviewed David Dunning.)

  5. You can not realise you were a sleep until you wake up…
    when ever you saw someone better than you in any case, however, your gratitude or denial will define, either you have Dunning-Kruger syndrome or not…

    • I believe your statement is quite wrong, and slightly misunderstands the very complex hypothesis of Dunning-Kruger Effect. But our internet posts are a good example of it, because internet posts are like how people think. Your idea was pretty easy to comprehend, you used examples to help explain the concept, and did so in a way that basically understandable based on our culture/language, etc. But it was slightly incorrect in parts, and also, while I Think I got the gist of what you were saying, many people wouldn’t due to slight differences in how language changes or how people speak differently slightly.
      anyway this brings my main point, Internet posts lead to DK effect.

      1. When you post something, you just say what You think is true, and that’s usually it. We think we are right, and no one (usually) said we were wrong. That’s how people think. They have thoughts, and they go over them to make sure they are right, and since they don’t see how they are wrong, they believe they are right. And just like with internet posts, when people disagree with them, they just think the other person is stupid, because tthat olther person’s ideas are just So Obviously Stupid and wrong, and least it seems that way to people, but what seems obvious to us, has nothing to do with what other people know or what we assume they should know.
      2. It’s a simple lack of education/knowledge that many believe can easily be cured. The problem is that we as people are too vague and not specific enough when discussing ideas with others. Also, we All act stupidly by always (subconsciously I believe) thinking that our opponents are either stubborn, malicious, or just too dumb. The effect Dunning Kruger has on those with education: making them believe that the complicated and obsure information they know is ‘Common’ knowledge when it’s obviously not, yet due to this often people often talk down to others or act as if what they say is So obvious. The Educated don’t realize they are doing anything wrong or have any bias, probably because it’s never been pointed out to them.

      I believe this is why people have such trouble understanding and communicating with each other, as well as simple emotion getting in the way as well. Both sides feel and are attacked by each other, as well as the horrible social stigma, that now might be a illusion all along, of insulting people and calling them names and stupid if they are ever wrong. We were born in a educated world with the internet…..that’s why we know more than kids in 3rd world countries. We Aren’t intelligent, humans are just animals, and we only function using this higher thinking Because we are taught all the knowledge humanity has accumulated. That’s how it’s always been.

      The Great news is that it means we All have such a massive capacity to learn and better ourselves. And it also means that all our problems Really can be solved simply with education and proper understanding.
      If you have questions or disgree feel free to criticize, I will also link to the article I based this post off of.

      • Simple, in some cases, is smarter. When explaining a point with so many unnecessary words, the point you try to make is made pointless. This is true to the extent that I would be able to reply to you with your same exact words and it would make sense. Don’t overthink things dude. It comes across like you’re stroking your own dick.

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