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Are the unskilled really that unaware? An alternative explanation

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  • Krajc, Marian
  • Ortmann, Andreas

Abstract

In a series of articles and manuscripts (e.g., [Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1121-1134; Dunning, D., Johnson, K., Ehrlinger, J., & Kruger, J. (2003). Why people fail to recognize their own incompetence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 83-87; Ehrlinger, J., Johnson, K., Banner, M., Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (2008). Why the unskilled are unaware: Further exploration of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105, 98-121.]), Dunning, Kruger and their collaborators argued that the unskilled lack the metacognitive ability to realize their incompetence. We propose that the alleged unskilled-and-unaware problem - rather than being one of biased judgements - is a signal extraction problem that differs for the skilled and the unskilled. Specifically, the unskilled face a tougher inference problem than the skilled.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 724-738

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:5:p:724-738

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Keywords: Calibration Judgement errors Unskilled Unaware Metacognition;

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References

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  1. Andreas Ortmann & Ralph Hertwig, 2001. "The Costs of Deception: Evidence From Psychology," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp191, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. David M. Grether & James C. Cox, 1996. "The preference reversal phenomenon: Response mode, markets and incentives (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 381-405.
  3. Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
  4. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: an illustration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 315-320, December.
  5. Chu, Yun-Peng & Chu, Ruey-Ling, 1990. "The Subsidence of Preference Reversals in Simplified and Marketlike Experimental Settings: A Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 902-11, September.
  6. Ehrlinger, Joyce & Johnson, Kerri & Banner, Matthew & Dunning, David & Kruger, Justin, 2008. "Why the unskilled are unaware: Further explorations of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 98-121, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2009. "Betting on own knowledge: Experimental test of overconfidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 39-49, February.
  2. Philip Brookins & Adriana Lucas & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2014. "Reducing within-group overconfidence through group identity and between-group confidence judgments," Working Papers wp2014_02_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Feb 2014.
  3. Marian Krajc, 2008. "Are the Unskilled Really That Unaware? Understanding Seemingly Biased Self-Assessments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp373, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  4. Schlösser, Thomas & Dunning, David & Johnson, Kerri L. & Kruger, Justin, 2013. "How unaware are the unskilled? Empirical tests of the “signal extraction” counterexplanation for the Dunning–Kruger effect in self-evaluation of performance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 85-100.
  5. Ryvkin, Dmitry & Krajč, Marian & Ortmann, Andreas, 2012. "Are the unskilled doomed to remain unaware?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1012-1031.

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