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  • On April 19th 1995 McArthur Wheeler robbedbank with his face glazed with lemon juice,  

  • believing the juice would make his face  invisible to the surveillance cameras.  

  • He thought so because lemon juice works  as invisible ink on a piece of paper.

  • Police broadcasted the security camera  footage on the local 11 o'clock news,  

  • and just after midnight Arthur was arrestedIncredulously he said "But I wore the juice!"

  • Baffled by this reasoningDavid Dunning and Justin Kruger,  

  • two Psychologists, studied Mr Wheeler and  others like him . They came to the conclusion  

  • that people with low ability at a task tend  to, paradoxically, overestimate themselves.  

  • This cognitive bias is known  as The DunningKruger effect.

  • Let's look at this graphically plotting one's  confidence in your ability against one's actual  

  • knowledge in a field. As we learn something newwe are often highly confident because we know so  

  • little that as soon as we do know a tiny bit, we  think we know it all. Those who stop learning here  

  • maintain a false sense of mastery. Those  who continue learning, realize things are  

  • more complex and often lose motivation. And  the more they increase their knowledge the  

  • lower their confidence becomes. Many stop at  this stage, thinking they've learned nothing.  

  • Only if we keep going can we regain confidence  while getting better. And at the end, we will be  

  • full of knowledge and almost as confident  in our ability as right after we started.

  • In other words, if a simpleton , a good student  and a wise teacher were to have a public debate,  

  • this is how things could go down. The simpleton  knows just a little bit, but is very confident and  

  • voices his opinions loud and without hesitationsThe student knows more, but doesn't realize it  

  • because she lacks confidence. She keeps quiet. The  teacher is confident, but understands how complex  

  • things really are, hence voices his opinions with  reservations. In the end, the simpleton wins the  

  • popular vote, because he is so confident about  being right and people tend to trust certainty.

  • Research from North America, Europe and  Japan suggests that culture plays a big role.  

  • From assessments of one's own  ability to drive we know that 93%  

  • of Americans think they are better  drivers than average, whileonly '' 69%  

  • of Swedish think so. In Japan on the other  hand, people, in general, tend to underestimate  

  • their abilities as a strategy to see their  underachievement as an opportunity to improve.

  • Setting out on a journey of learning  can be a daunting experience.  

  • What starts off as a leisurely stroll  soon changes to an intense battle of  

  • willpower between you and an intimidating  amount of knowledge. Do not give up.  

  • The longer you fight, the more power  you gain, up until the point you win.

  • And in the end, if you persevere, you  may be elevated to the ranks of Socrates,  

  • who, over 2000 years agoleft us with a quote of wisdom  

  • “I know that I am intelligentbecause I know that I know nothing.”

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On April 19th 1995 McArthur Wheeler robbedbank with his face glazed with lemon juice,  

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