Monday, December 15, 2008

A Sudden Discovery of the Obvious

While Dan Collins doesn't say it, a study showing that people incompetent in some area believe themselves highly skilled while the truly skilled think themselves less so shows two things.

  1. Cognitive psychologists tend to overestimate the importance of their findings

  2. Cognitive psychologists have proved that self-esteem is overrated
In war, as in chess, he who underestimates his enemy overestimates his life expectancy.

In addition to the foregoing, I feel compelled to note that this is a classic case of the difficulty of determining cause and effect. Do the unskilled overestimate their ability, or do people who think their skills are pretty good feel no need to improve them? Perhaps it's both.

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Anonymous said...

As I've gotten older, I realize that I really know what I know. One of the things I know is that what I don't know has grown exponentially! ~Jimmy

Loren Heal said...

A few years ago I would blog or talk on anything, supposing that if I'd thought about it for 15 minutes I would be in perfect position to explain it to everyone else.

Now, I do the same, but I am less surprised at the results.

Anonymous said...

Being "less surprised at the results" is sufficiently vague in this particular context. Excellent. I kind of know what you mean. JimmyBoyo

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