One of the privileges of being an old bunny is that you get to sit in a whole lot of medical and dental offices and read the odd piece of literature that is lying about, assuming there is no wifi. So Eli was sitting in his endodontic dentist's office (the good ones are the champ anal-obsessives on Earth, which the bunnies will know if they ever had a root canal) and he grabbed something with a guy in a dunce cap on the cover and the headline and if the bunnies look real close, the author of the headline article is David Dunning of Dunning Kruger. Information may have an urge to be free but publishers don't see it that way. The interested may have to purchase the magazine, because it does not look like it will be made easily available
Justin Kruger was the graduate student whose work has become half of a blogbyword and the original can be found on line, in 97 copies more or less. Eli would be surprised if a friend of his has not read all of them. . . .
Dunning, is not full of sunshine on the issue
Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize -- scratch that, cannot recognize -- just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: for poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack. To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar, for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules, an impossibility among the incompetent. Poor performers -- and we are all poor performers at some things -- fail to see the flaws in their thinking or the answers they lack.
What's curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledgeTo Eli, self awareness, knowing when to listen to others is a great and hard won gift. Also knowing when to ignore them, but that is the same thing. Dunning has studied the unaware for a long time
An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that's filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge. This clutter is an unfortunate by product of one of our greatest strengths as a species. We are unbridled pattern recognizers and profligate theorizers. Often our theories are good enough to get us through the day, or at least to the age when we can procreate.The most difficult problem is when a person's subjective world view corresponds to their fantasies. Dunning is more than a little bit pessimistic about whether there is anything to be done about this. Education, e.g. exposing people to information which conflicts with their world view does not work well, especially when the INTERNET cacophony is shouting in the other ear.
If repeating the misbelief is absolutely necessary, researchers have found it helps to provide clear and repeated warnings that the misblief is false. I repeat false.One thing, according to Dunning, that does work is to show that the clutter contradicts the believers world view in some way, for example that care for the Earth is central to religious belief. Another is to massage the self worth of the clutteree before discussing reality with them. Dunning closes by pointing out that wisdom is knowing one's limits.