The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Judging Ability Accurately
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" – Confucius
Have you ever interviewed a job candidate who claimed to be good at something, only to discover later that they had been exaggerating their skills? It probably left you confused. After all, why would they lie about such a thing when they would certainly be found out if hired?
Or perhaps you manage someone who doesn't improve, even after you demonstrate what should be done. Or you've discovered that a member of your team who is humble about their skills is actually super talented.
It turns out that these behaviors are all common quirks of human psychology, as described by the Dunning-Kruger effect. In this article, we'll explore how you can manage its impact in the workplace.
What is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?
The phrase "Dunning-Kruger effect" refers to the findings made by psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger in their 1999 study, "Unskilled and Unaware of It." In it, Dunning and Kruger compared participants' actual skill level with their perceived level. Their findings revealed one central truth: "It takes competence to judge competence."