Why incompetent people think they’re amazing – David Dunning


Are you as good at things
as you think you are? How good are you at managing money? What about reading people’s emotions? How healthy are you
compared to other people you know? Are you better than average at grammar? Knowing how competent we are and how are skill stack up
against other people’s is more than a self-esteem boost. It helps us figure out when we can forge
ahead on our own decisions and instincts and when we need, instead,
to seek out advice. But psychological research suggests
that we’re not very good at evaluating ourselves accurately. In fact, we frequently overestimate
our own abilities. Researchers have a name
for this phenomena, the Dunning-Kruger effect. This effect explains
why more than 100 studies have shown that people display
illusory superiority. We judge ourselves as better than others to a degree that violates
the laws of math. When software engineers at two companies
were asked to rate their performance, 32% of the engineers at one company
and 42% at the other put themselves in the top 5%. In another study, 88% of American drivers described themselves
as having above average driving skills. These aren’t isolated findings. On average, people tend to rate
themselves better than most in disciplines ranging from health,
leadership skills, ethics, and beyond. What’s particularly interesting
is that those with the least ability are often the most likely to overrate
their skills to the greatest extent. People measurably poor
at logical reasoning, grammar, financial knowledge, math, emotional intelligence, running medical lab tests, and chess all tend to rate their expertise almost
as favorably as actual experts do. So who’s most vulnerable to this delusion? Sadly, all of us because we all have
pockets of incompetence we don’t recognize. But why? When psychologists Dunning and Kruger
first described the effect in 1999, they argued that people lacking
knowledge and skill in particular areas suffer a double curse. First, they make mistakes
and reach poor decisions. But second, those same knowledge gaps also
prevent them from catching their errors. In other words, poor performers lack
the very expertise needed to recognize how badly they’re doing. For example, when the researchers studied participants in
a college debate tournament, the bottom 25% of teams
in preliminary rounds lost nearly four
out of every five matches. But they thought they were winning
almost 60%. WIthout a strong grasp
of the rules of debate, the students simply couldn’t recognize
when or how often their arguments broke down. The Dunning-Kruger effect isn’t a question
of ego blinding us to our weaknesses. People usually do admit their deficits
once they can spot them. In one study, students who had initially
done badly on a logic quiz and then took a mini course on logic were quite willing to label
their original performances as awful. That may be why people with a moderate
amount of experience or expertise often have less confidence
in their abilities. They know enough to know that
there’s a lot they don’t know. Meanwhile, experts tend to be aware
of just how knowledgeable they are. But they often make a different mistake: they assume that everyone else
is knowledgeable, too. The result is that people,
whether they’re inept or highly skilled, are often caught in a bubble
of inaccurate self-perception. When they’re unskilled,
they can’t see their own faults. When they’re exceptionally competent, they don’t perceive how unusual
their abilities are. So if the Dunning-Kruger effect
is invisible to those experiencing it, what can you do to find out how good
you actually are at various things? First, ask for feedback from other people, and consider it,
even if it’s hard to hear. Second, and more important, keep learning. The more knowledgeable we become, the less likely we are to have
invisible holes in our competence. Perhaps it all boils down
to that old proverb: When arguing with a fool, first make sure the other person
isn’t doing the same thing.

100 Comments

  1. TED-Ed said:

    Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our nonprofit mission on Patreon! You make this work possible. Want to learn more about how you can get involved? Check out our Patreon page: http://bit.ly/2hhLyTa

    November 9, 2017
    Reply
  2. zack bandera said:

    I am the greatest self evaluator of all time.

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  3. sukisuzuki10 said:

    Before watching this I always found that the 2 things people over estimate are their height and intelligence

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  4. John Wood said:

    Oops, I thought it was about the incompetent occupant 🙄

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  5. SyahBun said:

    Eren kruger.

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  6. A reminder said:

    The real confidence is not to bend when one fails

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  7. nil - said:

    Maybe cos they’re even incompetent at rating themselves Edit: never mind the video says that at 2:38 lol

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  8. Hound19745 said:

    That explains you know who

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  9. ALL APPAREL said:

    The title of this video are terrible

    The is way of measurements perfectly suitable for computer artificial intelligence.

    But definitely not the scale for humans .

    September 2, 2019
    Reply
  10. Jug R Naught said:

    As a supervisor, we must remember that people don’t know what they don’t know. It’s best to teach AND ask how to be better.
    Socrates said he is wise because he knows he knows nothing.

    September 3, 2019
    Reply
  11. Uym O said:

    But then again, are we talking about worldly intelligence or spiritual and mental intelligence?

    September 3, 2019
    Reply
  12. Reason and Emotion In Balance said:

    Gimel Bravo should see this video, urgently.

    September 3, 2019
    Reply
  13. Heman said:

    That's freakin creepy smiley face !

    September 4, 2019
    Reply
  14. Sheetal gupta said:

    4:26 "What if other people are fooling you?" can be in itself an illusion.

    September 4, 2019
    Reply
  15. Bharat Lalwani said:

    The trouble with most folks isn't their ignorance. It's knowin' so many things that ain't so.

    Josh Billings

    September 4, 2019
    Reply
  16. Garden Bound By Love said:

    great closer.

    September 5, 2019
    Reply
  17. Andersen Ong said:

    Is this the opposite of the imposter syndrome or something

    September 6, 2019
    Reply
  18. Jay S said:

    A lot of competent people also feel the same.

    September 7, 2019
    Reply
  19. Christen Denise said:

    It's called Narcissism…..😋

    September 7, 2019
    Reply
  20. General Win said:

    I don’t think this is new knowledge

    September 7, 2019
    Reply
  21. gustavo said:

    Donald Trump left the chat

    September 7, 2019
    Reply
  22. Robert Illes said:

    Confidence is just an idea. If you don't know how to do something, learn it. Confidence only delay you from learning. And if you know how to do something, that's called knowledge and skill, not confidence.

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  23. Jack Frost said:

    "Everyone is critical of the flaws of others but blind to their own"
    -Arabic Proverb

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  24. Blind Squid said:

    This mentality never ceases to amaze me.

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  25. Monroe Robbins said:

    What about cultures that are different than western? Or what about people with anxiety or self doubt?

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  26. KeRen Tan said:

    Youtube is trying to tell me something.
    I wonder what.

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  27. KeRen Tan said:

    One person who is really amazing is the animator

    September 8, 2019
    Reply
  28. Otto Normal said:

    First I read 'why impotent people think they're amazing'. 😂

    September 9, 2019
    Reply
  29. R J said:

    The fact that u think u r amazing , capable , smart , gives a boost to ur confidence , now imagine if u think u r. a dud , below average , mr know nothing , u would b a introvert , un happy personality ……. it only matter how u feel about ur self ….. if u feel u r amazing so b it .. besides there r lot of people in this world who will point out u r worthless .

    September 9, 2019
    Reply
  30. A Di said:

    Always be optimistic!

    September 9, 2019
    Reply
  31. Fabiana Benites said:

    All I know, is that I know nothing.
    I am amazing, and I say that not to be better than anyone. The only one I compete with is myself, who I was yesterday.
    Being happy is a state of mind. I consider myself happy, and people see it.. I don’t have to “show it”, it’s part of my being.
    If being happy and “amazing” makes me different in the eyes of others, it’s not my job to change their perspective of me. They think whatever they want. For the ones who likes me and my company, I appreciate and like them back, if not.. no one is obligated to be around me. 🙂
    Someone can be amazing and intelligent, the ego is what makes them “not so smart”.. 🙂
    no matter how much you think you are smart, knowledge is a endless thing.. no one dies knowing everything..
    I know that one day I will die knowing that my “knowledge” is the size of a grain of mustard compared to what the universe has to offer.

    September 9, 2019
    Reply
  32. LegendaryGamer1337 said:

    So is basically being edgy

    September 10, 2019
    Reply
  33. Риша said:

    Очень здорово и понятно: "Я знаю как многого я не знаю"

    September 10, 2019
    Reply
  34. mohan krishna rao said:

    0:45 if i am getting so much anxious from here am i having ocd

    September 10, 2019
    Reply
  35. Marc Ausländer said:

    Isn't this a little paradoxical.?
    If I am aware that I know nothing ( there is much to know) , and knowing this dunning Kruger effect , makes me think I know things and under estimating myself. This very understanding of underestimating could be a overestimation circles me back to initial state?

    September 10, 2019
    Reply
  36. IM The Whole Man said:

    Wait one second. When did this change exactly because people used to underestimate themselves. Millennials

    September 10, 2019
    Reply
  37. Alissa's Couch said:

    Thank you so much for this video. Now I know just how worthless I truly am 😐

    September 11, 2019
    Reply
  38. David Heller said:

    How do we cure it?

    September 11, 2019
    Reply
  39. Rtg Oxlv said:

    For example: Trump

    September 12, 2019
    Reply
  40. Terry O'Malley said:

    Explains the abundance of dickheads! 😋

    September 13, 2019
    Reply
  41. Rei Ackerman said:

    Keep learning

    September 13, 2019
    Reply
  42. gerad doyle said:

    I will not use Patreon, that is smart, right?

    September 15, 2019
    Reply
  43. Stuart Lloyd said:

    Surely everyone knows this, but then again I've always been brilliant at this stuff.

    September 15, 2019
    Reply
  44. Waffle Lord said:

    Ignorance is temporary,
    Stupidity is forever

    September 15, 2019
    Reply
  45. Harry Lagman said:

    No wonder they think they're amazing… Some of them get invited to do Ted talks.

    Like this one

    September 16, 2019
    Reply
  46. Bob Destroyer of English said:

    Then there's the other bad extreme of thinking you can't do anything to the point where you wonder why you should bother trying to do anything at all…

    Yeah, that's me. I wish I could be more confident, but I'm afraid of seeming cocky or being overconfident.

    September 16, 2019
    Reply
  47. Conner Broeker said:

    What if I don't believe I'm good at anything

    September 17, 2019
    Reply
  48. John Milligan said:

    How do we know Dunning and Kruger are as smart as they think they are?

    September 17, 2019
    Reply
  49. William Heyman said:

    I was in the US Army from private to colonel, and I know that people can perform way above their modest background. The old poem goes that, "they said that it couldn't be done. But not knowing that, he went ahead and did it." People who have an over-inflated sense of themselves are the people who go ahead and do things. I would rather serve with people who are over-achievers than the people who know exactly what they can do and are modest under achievers.

    September 17, 2019
    Reply
  50. bunny fish said:

    This explains trump lovers

    September 19, 2019
    Reply
  51. Tiberion Jraxiosn said:

    @Youtube

    September 21, 2019
    Reply
  52. Xiaohui Liu said:

    Watching this and the imposter syndrome TED video together and now I don't know what syndrome do I suffer from

    September 21, 2019
    Reply
  53. Tyrawrian said:

    I was 3rd in my math class but forgot everything I had learned in that grade :/ also I'm an introvert.

    September 21, 2019
    Reply
  54. James Meritt said:

    Sounds like lake woebegone, where almost everyone is above average!

    September 23, 2019
    Reply
  55. Jakalaka said:

    We are all incompetent some way or another, the play is to realize that and go all in anyways

    September 23, 2019
    Reply
  56. steven rowe said:

    I wonder if the political world are aware of this??
    Now that would be a wake up call.

    September 23, 2019
    Reply
  57. philip raja said:

    This was recommended to me after that jack ma, Elon musk clip 😂 coincidence?

    September 24, 2019
    Reply
  58. EmptyMold IATV said:

    wow this is literally me. huh

    September 24, 2019
    Reply
  59. Ariko Subumo said:

    Is this all about Donald Trump?

    September 24, 2019
    Reply
  60. vitola1111 said:

    This is the fatal flaw with online dating lol

    September 24, 2019
    Reply
  61. Gut Eater said:

    The virtues , Valor for example can also played a role of this Dunning Kruger effect

    September 25, 2019
    Reply
  62. OustFoX said:

    I'm in that slump in the Dunning-Kruger graph.

    September 25, 2019
    Reply
  63. Shieena Living Waters said:

    2400 Dunning & Kruger affected disliked this video. HOW DARE YOU! 😂

    September 25, 2019
    Reply
  64. Steven Koehler said:

    The life story of AOC

    September 25, 2019
    Reply
  65. Steven Koehler said:

    I’d rather grapple with insecurity than be one of those unfortunate idiots who think they’re brilliant, while everyone around them pities their ignorance and incompetence, and simply doesn’t have the heart to tell them the truth.

    September 25, 2019
    Reply
  66. Daquan's missing father said:

    “Niggas iffy uh
    Drum it holds fifty uh” – Albert Einstein

    September 26, 2019
    Reply
  67. Justin Beaird said:

    I underestimate myself on everything I do, I usually seek out other suggestions, and triple check everything.
    When I was into PHP I would frequently go through others source code and scratch my head on why people would write 100 lines of complicated code that can be done in 20 straight forward lines, then I usually ended up writing my own

    September 26, 2019
    Reply
  68. An Gry said:

    I think it’s not that mysterious, people just mistake imitation for knowledge and their own skill.

    You start imitating things, learn about great things and you start to have the delusion that you are somehow great because all the things you know.

    But in reality you are not a Master until you create something great of your own.

    All creative people realise this sooner or later but not everyone is challenged like that so some people go through life without realising this fact.

    Also, much of the second hand information we learn are abstracted, to be a true master of your domain you must go back to the first hand sources and focus on the details.

    To me that’s all there is to it.

    September 27, 2019
    Reply
  69. david Bruce said:

    Hence…. "they know just enough to be dangerous"

    September 27, 2019
    Reply
  70. LoL-O-Mat 1000 said:

    Running medical lab test.. LOL.

    September 27, 2019
    Reply
  71. xxx_Winston _Churchillxx360_no_scope_MLGlord said:

    Okay YouTube I see what's going on first you send me an instruction video of how to tie a noose now this wtf and why

    September 27, 2019
    Reply
  72. 1847dan said:

    This guy sounds like he thinks he's amazing. What does that mean?…

    September 27, 2019
    Reply
  73. Marco Bistagnino said:

    Well luckly this whole video doesnt apply to me. Its others who fall into such mistakes

    September 28, 2019
    Reply
  74. Tom Taylor-Duxbury said:

    Competition tends to unmask the truth. I thought I was a quick driver until I started driving a rally car. Just watch these so called modern pop stars versus those who worked their way to the top, you never see the incompetent that competition weeded out.

    September 28, 2019
    Reply
  75. The Psycho-like gamer said:

    So you're telling me anti vaxxers and flat earthers are stupidly overconfident they're correct?

    October 1, 2019
    Reply
  76. jaybrumbaugh777 said:

    Did tails war even watch the video?

    October 1, 2019
    Reply
  77. GSXR 750 said:

    So, am i competent or not? Guess we'll never know…

    October 2, 2019
    Reply
  78. joh said:

    Everybody watching this still probably think they're above average

    October 3, 2019
    Reply
  79. Milo Estobar said:

    Dunning Kruger Effect – Never realise to live like a sheep
    Eren Kruger Effect – God

    October 4, 2019
    Reply
  80. IhateECHOES said:

    This basically explains why Negroes have way more confidence than whites and Asians on average.

    October 4, 2019
    Reply
  81. P3NZ01L said:

    What about arrogant people who know theyre wrong but refuse to see it

    October 5, 2019
    Reply
  82. Friedrich Lee said:

    On the contrary,
    Einstein had IMPOSTER SYNDROME.
    Ironic?

    October 9, 2019
    Reply
  83. 3. 1415926535 said:

    I don't suffer from the DK effect, I'm too good for that.

    October 16, 2019
    Reply
  84. Gary Nelson said:

    What you are saying is that these people are UNFAMILIAR w the skill sets OTHER PEOPLE have when ratings are applied. Do these same people believe they can DO what they can't often, overshooting their capabilities? How can ANYONE know how they stand without others to compare oneself with. This is faulty reasoning, accepted or not.

    October 17, 2019
    Reply
  85. Epic Terry said:

    white men overrate themselves the most
    source: https://www.realclearscience.com/quick_and_clear_science/2018/07/05/65_of_americans_think_they_are_more_intelligent_than_average.html

    October 17, 2019
    Reply
  86. Eltalstro said:

    "I know more about ISIS than the generals do." Donald J Trump

    October 21, 2019
    Reply
  87. Owokoyo said:

    I'm trying to apply this to myself but I keep pushing back on that matter because I believe I am truly superior to everyone in all areas of intelligence.

    October 22, 2019
    Reply
  88. Timothy W said:

    Ted is disinfo

    October 22, 2019
    Reply
  89. B Van Lim said:

    I think about this more and more when i read comments on the internet.

    October 22, 2019
    Reply
  90. Hyper 17 said:

    This is literally me

    October 24, 2019
    Reply
  91. Kyle Cameron said:

    Prediction….. Based on the thumbnail, is it because they lack self awareness? Let's watch.

    October 25, 2019
    Reply
  92. hackneyed mayonnaise said:

    I think I'm particularity good at this part of psychology.

    October 25, 2019
    Reply
  93. Santiago Boccardo said:

    The man talking about the Dunning-Krueger effect is called David Dunning

    November 1, 2019
    Reply
  94. Dennis Chen said:

    How does one avoid the Dunning Kruger effect? I would like to hear what others think.

    My opinion is that the only way to avoid the Dunning Kruger Effect is to stop trying to feel good about what little we know and to start putting forth the TIME to work hard to learn every single day. Dunning Kruger effect is mapping self-perception against expertise (Think X-Y Graph) and the only way you improve expertise is to work hard to learn all the time. The more we learn, in fact, the more accurate our self-perception becomes by the Dunning Kruger "graph".

    November 2, 2019
    Reply
  95. Vlad Impaler said:

    Rap culture

    November 2, 2019
    Reply
  96. roomsonfire 80 said:

    Sounds like 45 to me

    November 2, 2019
    Reply
  97. Jann Mark Marcelino said:

    Great video!

    November 8, 2019
    Reply
  98. Labdhi Sharma said:

    Exactly 2y from this video ted ed uploaded a video called Why can't we cure arthritis?

    November 9, 2019
    Reply
  99. Stuti Gangopadhyay said:

    This made me a whole other brand of insecure

    November 9, 2019
    Reply
  100. Free Gift Card Scammer said:

    Lmao.
    This is the first result that shows when searching "YouTube is Incompetent"
    YouTube is hiding search results again.🤐

    November 9, 2019
    Reply

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