Skip to comments.Beyond the Kruger-Dunning Effect (Erdogan's Turkey or Obama's US? EXPLAINED)
Posted on 03/04/2017 10:36:13 PM PST by Texas Fossil
The Kruger-Dunning effect refers to the inability of incompetent individuals to accurately assess their own competence. It was first discovered by two psychologists, you can guess their names, who asked students to predict their exam scores before taking the exam. Whilst students gaining high marks accurately predicted their scores, low scoring students grossly overestimated how well they would perform.
The phenomenon, replicated many times, is usually explained in terms of metacognitive abilities. Since these skills are critical for both gaining and assessing competence, people with low levels of metacognitive ability are doubly cursed.
The Kruger Dunning effect is surprisingly resistant to change. In one study, students who performed badly in an exam were invited to grade the papers of high performing students and then asked to assess their own levels of competence. Did exposure to competence help incompetent individuals gain insight into their own low levels of expertise? It did not. Indeed, the only thing that seems to help the incompetent understand their incompetence is to increase their level of competence. In other words, the incompetent, so long as they remain just that, are fated to inflated estimates of their abilities.
How does the incompetent individual react to the exposure of their incompetence? After all, the discrepancy between the exam score and the perception of competence needs explaining. External explanations, which account for the discrepancy in terms of factors beyond the individuals control, are appealing because they do not disrupt the existing structure of that persons belief. Thus, if the low exam score is rationalized in terms of a personal vendetta on the graders part, the (illusory) belief in competence can be maintained.
In many domains there is no straightforward way of assessing an individuals level of ability. In the absence of feedback, there is no discrepancy to be explained. Worse still, incompetent students are sometimes, for various reasons, given high marks in exams. Their illusion of competence appears vindicated.
Imagine a country ruled by a powerful leader, but one hypersensitive to criticism: in short a leader who might not react well to low exam marks.
Imagine further that the country is making swift progress, but of the backwards kind. The leader may not become aware of this, particularly if his advisors and the countrys media have abandoned all pretence of objectivity and function merely as cheerleaders, like corrupt teachers instructed to give one particular student top marks in all exams. The view from the car window might indicate rapid movement, but the direction of travel is misconstrued.
Of course, more objective if less encouraging noises may emanate from some quarters, from the likes of foreign governments, international media and NGOs. But these can be explained away using external explanations: for example, with conspiracy theories alleging an international plot to thwart the countrys progress. Should such voices become too insistent the thin-skinned leader can always turn off the television or change station. He can also shut down any of the critical organizations he can get his hands on. For good measure, he might imprison some of those dissenting voices and confiscate their assets. What better justification than to claim they are all part of the plot? Anyone else who suspects the car is reversing will likely be too intimidated to say anything.
Some reader might construe the above as an allegory about Turkey. Perish the thought!
Facts on the ground in Turkey are clearly at odds with the above description. For starters, President Erdoğan is well-known as highly competent, open-minded and receptive to constructive criticism. He has also stated, on numerous occasions, that Turkeys media is as free, if not freer, than anywhere else in the world. None of the scores of journalists in prison has been jailed for journalism. They have been incarcerated for offences utterly unrelated to journalism ― just look at the charge sheets. The same goes for the numerous media organizations shut down or expropriated by the government. The international plot against Turkey is also, plainly, not a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories, by definition, are untrue, whereas the plots against Turkey are substantiated by overwhelming evidence. Criticisms of Turkey by various international bodies are merely one leg of this evidence. And finally, to suggest that Turkey is regressing is plain nonsense. It might be difficult to breathe in Turkey, but thats because the air gets thinner as you ascend to the sunlit uplands. It takes time to adjust.
Of course, all of this is entirely hypothetical.
Interesting concept and thought.
It ends on a bit of sarcasm. But you get the point.
I love the Kruger-Dunning Effect. It fits Obama perfectly and many, many other Democrats as well.
I had never heard of it. Saw it applied to Erdogan (totally accurate). It was a simple step to apply it to Obama correctly too.
Do you remember when they were Best Buddies?
What can I say?
I thought it was. It was new to me.
the entire western elite is suffering from the Dunning-Krueger effect. In recent years they have lurched from one disaster to another, all the while telling each other and everyone else how sophisticated and brilliant they are.
Consider - internet bubble, 911 security lapses, invasion and occupation of Iraq, housing bubble, 2008 financial bailouts, withdrawl from Iraq and rise of ISIS, overthrow of Ghadaffi, arming ISIS in Syria, European refugee crisis, Eurodebt crisis, overthrow of Ukraine gov’t, Brexit, Trump election .... and on and on.
Every time there is a big terrorist attack, it comes to light that the perpetrators were well known to authorities but they were unable to act effectively.
And while all that happened, the “experts” were blindsided by the USSR collapse, peso crisis, Asia debt crisis, 911, financial crisis, Arab Spring, Crimea, ...
There is also a larger crisis of competence where things that were easily done 50 years ago like repairing dams, announcing the Oscars and signing up people for a new gov’t program seem to be increasing difficult - even with all the new technology.
note: I strongly support Brexit and Trump.
I meant to put those two items in with the surprises that the “experts” didn’t see coming
The devil is in the detail. Consequence of loss of perspective because machines try to run everything.
Cease to be human.
Have a great evening, I must sleep now. Good night.
This is a usual by-product of affirmative action. Minorities having lower intelligence and skills get pushed along based on skin color and, having reached higher levels, start to think they're there because of their own competence. It's the old "I'm standing on third base so I obviously hit a triple" scenario. Odumbo is a perfect example.
In other words “dumbing down the masses” leads to thesnowflake syndrome.
I think most of the snow flakes know the thaw is coming.
Well then you have me at a disadvantage. I had never heard of the term before yesterday. But I never worked in a field where it would have been important.
Thanks for the link.
Will study that.
I see in almost every human activity. But I am hyper sensitive to it. I have had a few employees that came with the job(s) I have taken over the years. I usually put them where they can do the least harm or manage their performance to the point they leave.
I think I first heard of the Kruger-Dunning here on FR, must have been when the first paper was published, probably about late 1999.
I apply the findings in everything I do and with everybody I work with. Especially management types..... Think the pointy haired boss from Dilbert.
I don’t know where you work, but race is irrelevant. All races have their idiots, and they suffer from the same flaws. Operational units are generally exempt from such individuals, but they are often diverted into management tracks where they then credit themselves for actual workers’ competence. As far as affirmative action, race is less a factor as you move into the executive level.
In many environments (specifically government, media, and academia), that level is constituted almost exclusively by the Peter Principle. Peters surround themselves with incompetent personnel, lest they be revealed as the idiots they are. The Kruger-Dunning Effect is multiplied across the board as the sycophants blow smoke up each others’ orifices.