Eight minutes of incompetence

ABC Radio National’s Science Show has a fantastic short segment on the ‘unskilled and unaware of it’ effect, also known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, where people with low levels of ability in a certain field vastly over-rate their talents because they lack the skills to judge their own competence.

It is my second favourite cognitive bias in psychology (after Emily Pronin’s discovery of the ‘bias blind spot‘) and the study also demonstrated the paradoxical effect whereby improving people’s skills reduced their self-assessment as they also learned to judge their ability level more accurately.

The segment in the science show is a wonderfully concise guide to the effect and start with the same wonderful story of the lemon juice covered bank-robber as the scientific paper.

Link to Science Show on the Dunning-Kruger effect.


  1. Posted May 11, 2010 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    See this response to Dunning-Kruger:

  2. Sheila Miguez
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Do animals other than humans have bias blindness similar to these?

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