Saturday, July 17, 2010

Illusory superiority vs. illusory inferiority

|"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow me on twitter.

Wiki defines Dunning–Kruger effect as a kind of cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive (knowing about knowing) ability to realize their mistakes.

The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the perverse situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people.

It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence: because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

What is important here, is to realize that, we all are suffering from this cognitive bias one way or the other. And use it in our own advantage.

These mental phenomenon are in fact not all alone...these fall into a group called cognitive biases, from which we all have been afflicted since we developed our cognitive abilities!

Read a very nice article by Seth: Self-delusion and self-loathing
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