The Utterly Compelling Copywriter | Strategic Brand & Marketing Communications

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What is the Dunning-Kruger effect?

They say a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

And I agree!

For example, have you ever worked with someone totally incompetent, but who thought they were super smart?

Someone who not only failed to recognise their own mistakes, but was oblivious to anyone genuinely talented? Maybe even patronised them?

Sadly we probably all have.

There is a psychological explanation for this unfortunate form of cognitive bias. It even has its own scientific name.

It’s called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

It’s where low ability individuals not only lack the ability to perform specific tasks but also lack the self-awareness to evaluate how poorly they actually do them.

Even more annoyingly, they often massively inflate how good they think they are at doing them too!

Interestingly, there is also a flip side to this.

It’s the smart person who always underestimates their level of ability. Sound familiar?

Now, I mention the Dunning-Kruger Effect for two key reasons.

Firstly, because it’s important that we learn to recognise it in ourselves – both sides of it.

Yes, it can affect anybody…and secondly, because I see it a lot, especially on social media.

What are your thoughts?

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” – Shakespeare

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