Are the unskilled really that unaware? An alternative explanation
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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