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Unskilled and Unaware of It, how ignorance gives misbelief of competance // damninteresting

Posted in Links, Programming and Software Development, Technology by engtech on June 11, 2006

This is one of my favorite article discussing about how when you are ignorant about a skill you do not have the ability to correctly gauge your own level in that skill. I remember back to being a new graduate and having no idea of the entire scope of what it is I did not know. I only feel that it is now as an intermediate that I'm starting to really get a feel for things.

When asked, most individuals will describe themselves as better-than-average in areas such as leadership, social skills, written expression, or just about any flavor of savvy where the individual has an interest. This tendency of the average person to believe he or she is better-than-average is known as the "above-average effect," and it flies in the face of logic… by definition, descriptive statistics says that it is impossible absurdly improbable for a majority of people to be above average. Clearly a large number of the self-described "above average" individuals are actually below average in those areas, and they are simply unaware of their incompetence.

It seems that the reason for this phenomenon is obvious: The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess anyone's skill in that space, including their own. When one fails to recognize that he or she has performed poorly, the individual is left assuming that they have performed well. As a result, the incompetent will tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities.

Damn Interesting » Unskilled and Unaware of It

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