Have you ever heard about the Dunning-Kruger effect?

In 1999 David Dunning and Justin Kruger at Cornell University published a study that showed how people often over-estimate their ability and competence in a specific subject. This results, says Dunning and Kruger, in poor decision-making.

At the same time, highly competent people often underestimate their abilities and competence.

“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”, says Dunning and Kruger.

I think that we all can relate to the Dunning-Kruger effect. We have all met people who believe they are more competent than they are.

Understanding, and always being aware of, the Dunning-Kruger effect may save you from a lot of poor decisions. Start by watching this video from TedEd:

Three ways to make sure that you don’t over- or underestimate yourself:

  1. Surround yourself with people whom you believe are smarter than you. Learn from them, and compare your abilities and competence with them.
  2. Ask for feedback. All the time. See feedback as a way of learning and growing.
  3. Keep learning. It’s only by learning more we can become more competent.