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Talk:Dunning-Kruger effect

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This Psychology related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


I added the box 'cos it's listed in the box - David Gerard (talk) 23:11, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Oh, really? Add it back then. But I was always under the impression that the Internet Lawz thing was for bullshit we just made up. :S Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:19, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Looks like Π made the box automatically show everything in the category - David Gerard (talk) 23:38, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Not thinking out of the box Syndrome?

There is no cure for deliberate stupidity. (talk) 16:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect description[edit]

Dunning and Kruger tested students on a series of criteria such as humour, grammar and logic and compared the actual test results with the student's estimations of their results that were made prior to the test. Those who scored low on test, those in the bottom quartile, were found to have "grossly overestimated" their scores. Conversely, those with the highest scores in the tests underestimated their performance in comparison to others. This was explained as a form of psychological projection, that those who found the tasks easy (and thus scored highly) mistakenly thought that they would also be easier for others. [emphasis added by me]

How could the subjects assess the difficulty of the tasks before they even took them? That makes no sense.

And lo, I checked the original paper and found that, of course, they provided their estimations only afterwards. What a relief to find out that it's really the article which fails logic and not me. -- (talk) 02:15, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Fixed, or at least I tried. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:44, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
That was quick. Good job. -- (talk) 20:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)


By the way, you should know that in the facebook athiest / anti-creationist crowd, RW's page on DK is often linked to. see, your stuff is actually seen "out there".--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 02:18, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Skepticism warranted[edit]

I really wish this page were more skeptical of DK's work, or that it at least included a 'criticisms section.' DK's results haven't always held up when the difficulty of the test has been varied, for instance, or in regards to other cultures. I don't doubt that there are some people who face difficulty because of a false belief in their own ability. But at best, DK's work has been insanely over-applied. In a more general sense, replying to an argument or person with an ad hominem attack instead of addressing the particulars of the argument is fallacious. In this regard, the DK effect is often used as an excuse for a lack of rigor in disagreements. Also, I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin and yes, she does come across as a bit of a dull blade in some regards. But she got elected and held high approval ratings, which is the self interested goal of a politician. Kerry and Gore were both D students in school as well, but from wealthier families and with better connections/support. That they aren't included with her on this page suggests a measure of bias in its authorship.

I'd included this page under locally relevant examples of the DK effect. It was reverted immediately, but its inclusion applies just as much as the other examples.--Wiserd (talk) 15:46, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Having read the page I feel it should be retitled the "Teenage knowledge effect".--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:14, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Political Bias in page[edit]

It unfortunate that the author adds a left oriented political bias when choosing examples of overconfidence. Such is not a trait of just conservatives... but of all politicians. Please keep political bias neutral when there is no value to the page. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 20:30 (UTC) 21 October 2013‎

We never claimed to be neutral and it's not our fault that it's more common among the political right due to anti-intellectualism. However if you do enough research I'm sure you can find plenty of members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation or similar far-left reactionaries doing the same thing, so feel free to add such examples as opposed to just whining on the talk page. ClothCoat (talk) 01:26, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, how about Al Franken as an example of over-confidence? He seems to think his BA degree in "government" (one step above basket weaving, and arguably less valuable to society) qualifies him as an expert on overconfidence. And why do you say that overconfidence is more common on the political right? If this is a rational wiki, you should have some factual basis for making this statement. TwoGunChuck (talk) 02:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
LMAO. This website is an example of leftist Dunning-Kruger in action. How ironic. (talk) 02:59, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
And besides the Al Franken dufus, how about his fellow dufus Bill Maher? -- I'll add Bill Maher and Al Franken to the page. TwoGunChuck (talk) 06:26, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

"impostor syndrome — found notably in graduate students and high-achieving women" amused because this was obviously intended to be biased but could be interpreted both ways (talk) 13:32, 14 August 2015 (UTC)


Moved from the article page 14:56, 11 February 2014 (UTC):

A popular misconception of the effect states that incompetent individuals believe that they are more capable than experts. This misconception is in fact directly contrary to their results, which found a nearly linear correlation between actual and perceived ranking. Poor performers mistakenly believe themselves to be slightly above average; top performers mistakenly believe themselves to be near but not at the top. [1] As such, the effect doesn't model incompetents who believe themselves to stand head and shoulders above the real experts.

It is easy enough to assume that was added in good faith, but the reference to a blog set my antennae a-quivering. While incompetents may not believe themselves head and shoulders above the real experts, Dunning and Kruger did in fact propose that incompetents fail to recognize genuine skill in others. Coupled with the failure to recognize their own incompetence, it isn't any stretch to say that they tend to think they are as good as the genuinely skilled, or maybe a bit better. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:56, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The Lenski affair would suggest exactly that, indeed. Though whether that would be reflected statistically is a different matter - remembering that D-K were looking at empirical data over a population and not specific anecdotes. It's clear from the graph that the bottom quartile, on average, still predict their ability to be below that of the top quartile. I'm not sure it's a "misconception", though. I don't recall anyone applying the D-K effect that way. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I doubt that people in the lower quartile are thinking in terms of that graph, though. The relevant comparison is between how good the unskilled think they themselves are, vs. how good the unskilled think folks in the uppermost quartile are, again with the failure to recognize genuine skill. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:58, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


  1. Tal Yarkoni, "What the Dunning-Kruger Effect Is and Isn't".

Donald Trump[edit]

To what extent does he display this syndrome? (talk) 13:18, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Shooting from the hip, I'd rank him "above average". Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:06, 12 June 2017 (UTC)