David Dunning, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, has devoted much of his career to studying the flaws in human thinking. It has kept him busy.
You might recognize Dunning’s name as half of a psychological phenomenon that feels highly relevant to the current political zeitgeist: the Dunning-Kruger effect. That’s where people of low ability — let’s say, those who fail to answer logic puzzles correctly — tend to unduly overestimate their abilities.
Here are the classic findings from the original paper on the effect in graph form. The worst performers — those in the bottom and second quartile — grossly overestimated their ability (also note how the best performers underestimated it).
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