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  • Ever met someone who is so extremely dumb that they don't know how stupid they actually are?

  • Ever tried to explain a new concept to someone who clearly doesn't get it?

  • Well, you're not alone.

  • Researchers have come up with a theory that explains why the less we know about something, the more confident we are in our ability to master it.

  • So there's a term for Dumb and Dumber?

  • Yes.

  • And it is more common than you might think.

  • Join us today as we explore the avenues of dumbness, in this episode of the Infographics show.

  • What is the Dunning Kruger effect?

  • Named after Cornell University researchers David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the Dunning-Kruger effect is a condition in the field of psychology where an intellectually challenged individual fails to adequately assess the extent of their own intelligence (or lack thereof).

  • Armed with an unhealthy bias of illusory superiority, these low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their own mental shortcomings.

  • In other words, they are too stupid to know how stupid they are.

  • In 1999's study, "Unskilled and Unaware of it," Dunning and Kruger studied the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler, a bank robber who disguised himself by covering his face with lemon juice.

  • His rationale being that the chemical properties of lemon juice are used in invisible ink, therefore should render him invisible to the bank security cameras.

  • An easy enough mistake, and one that cost him his freedom.

  • After he was easily caught by the cops, the wannabe thief was shown the video surveillance footage of himself robbing the banks.

  • Genuinely surprised that his plan hadn't worked, Wheeler was without the required mental capabilities to figure out the gap in his own reasoning.

  • Other investigations followed, and the Dunning Kruger's 2003 paper "Why do People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence?" observes the following:

  • "Successful negotiation of everyday life would seem to require people to possess insight about deficiencies in their intellectual and social skills."

  • However, people tend to be blissfully unaware of their incompetence.

  • This lack of awareness arises because poor performers are doubly cursed:

  • Their lack of skill deprives them not only of the ability to produce correct responses, but also of the expertise necessary to surmise that they are not producing them.

  • People base their perceptions of performance, in part, on their preconceived notions about their skills.

  • A good example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action would be the early audition rounds of a talent show open to the fame-crazy public.

  • British Pop-star wannabe Warren Wald became a mini-celebrity when he auditioned for the show Pop Idol in 2003 with a rendition of the 1980s track Eye of The Tiger.

  • He sang the song so badly that the public adored him.

  • Warren, who led a simple life, suddenly became a tabloid newspaper sensation.

  • He gave interviews on television and radio, and the Youtube clip of him singing went viral.

  • Warren had no apparent idea just how badly he sang until the nature of his fame came to light.

  • When the penny dropped, Warren realized he was being celebrated for his guts and determination rather than his promise as a vocalist.

  • His singing career is currently on hold.

  • The public does have a tendency to champion underdogs and this tends to reinforce the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  • Studies have shown that the Dunning-Kruger effect is not limited to the mentally challenged.

  • High performing individuals can also overestimate their abilities.

  • In fact, most of us do it, a lot of the time.

  • The way to break out of the habit takes bravery and a level of humility that is uncommon in most people.

  • We have to ask for feedback from a trusted source and be prepared for an honest response.

  • So if you feel you have a talent for singing, perhaps test your theory on a few honest people before appearing on national television.

  • What we now call the Dunning-Kruger effect is what the scientists used to call metacognitionthinking about thinking.

  • Perhaps the less we know about a topic, and the simpler it appears, the easier it is to ascribe some sort of understanding of it.

  • We must be careful.

  • We could well be one of the many Dunning-Kruger sufferers walking around blissfully ignorant of our ignorance.

  • So what's the dumbest thing you've watched somebody do?

  • Were they aware they were doing it or were they blissfully ignorant?

  • Let us know in the comments!

  • Also, be sure to check out our other video called "What Are the Signs That You Are a Psychopath?"

  • Thanks for watching, and, as always, don't forget to like, share, and subscribe.

  • See you next time!

Ever met someone who is so extremely dumb that they don't know how stupid they actually are?

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Why Do Stupid People Not Realize They Are Stupid?

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/02/28
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