The Dunning-Kruger Paradox …

Okay, someone else has to have thought of this before me, and I might even have seen it somewhere, but I can’t remember where or if, and thought of this today:

Imagine that I really think that I know how to do X. By the Dunning-Kruger effect, this suggests that I don’t know how to do X and so should doubt my abilities to do X. But if I doubt my ability to do X, then that suggests that I really do know how to do X. So I should be confident in my ability to do X … which should, then, lead me to doubt my ability to do X.

Repeat ad infinitum.


4 Responses to “The Dunning-Kruger Paradox …”

  1. Ruva Says:

    If you look at the Wikipedia page on this it says further down that, “They conclude that the root cause is that, in contrast to high performers, “poor performers do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve.’ ” and: “After being shown their test scores, the subjects were again asked to estimate their own rank, whereupon the competent group accurately estimated their rank, while the incompetent group still overestimated their own rank.”
    So, those competent have a little bit better edge on “defeating” the paradox.

  2. Eric Brown Says:

    This isn’t right – “I really think that I know how to do X. By the Dunning-Kruger effect, this suggests that I don’t know how to do X and so should doubt my abilities to do X.”

    The DK effect doesn’t suggest this! It says the less proficient you are at X, the more likely you are to be overconfident about how good you are at X.

    If you really are good at X, you’re more likely to be accurate in assessing your ability.

    • verbosestoic Says:

      Well, this was mostly tongue in cheek, but if you have the utmost confidence in your abilities, that’s precisely when you might be overconfident about your abilities, ie when you’re sure that you are good and know what you’re doing. This suggests that if you are extremely confident, then you are a prime candidate for being overconfident about your abilities. That means that you should doubt your abilities, which lowers your confidence level. But introducing that doubt suggests that you aren’t actually overconfident, but just perhaps might be reasonably confident. So you move back to your initial state of being really confident. Which should start the questions of if you are really properly confident or are overconfident. Rinse, repeat.

      The key, I think, is that my “paradox” is built in lieu of being able to actually assess your proficiency. What you say is indeed true, but doesn’t help if I can’t get an external, unbiased assessment of my proficiency. If all I have to go on are my own assessments, the paradox would be valid, I think, if most people wouldn’t just say that they didn’t care at some point …

  3. Delark Says:

    I´ve analized this fact since I first came across this “Dunning Krugger Effect”. (2 years ago xD)

    And I came to think that the human being is in fact paradoxical,at least some of us.

    I suffer what i call “deep random depressions” usual mood swings, but heavier, and I´ve analized my issues since I was in highschool I think.

    Trying to find out an answer, (because im tired of this)
    I found out that my road to depression was 1st being extremely critical of myself.

    Overthinking my abilities, attitudes, attributes, etc. . . made me extremely critical of myself, to the point of depression. . . .
    Past this point, (some time later) something changed in my mind, without me realizing what had happend.

    When I read about the Dunning Krugger Effect, I came to think that unconsciously after that depression bottom, this paradox you’re talking, makes ourselfs confident again.

    What surprised me the most, is that after coining the term (Dunning Krugger) and its significance, my mood swings came to happen in shorter lapses, but heavier, and more distinguishable than ever.

    That, meaning, that knowing the reason, actually helped the uncertainty of the problem, making it worst.

    And that’s the problem (uncertainty) with the Dunning Krugger Effect , that even the people that is judging the ability are subjected to the Dunning Krugger Effect, themselves.

    So you are never sure of your ability. . . even if someone tells you that you’re right, you might be wrong, and viceversa.

    I suggest you to read about “self deceit” and confuse yourself a little more XD.

    BTW I´m in a good mood right now .

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