So what explains this psychological effect? Are some people simply too dense, to be blunt, to know how dim-witted they are? Dunning and Kruger suggest that this phenomenon stems from what they refer to as a “dual burden.” People are not only incompetent; their incompetence robs them of the mental ability to realize just how inept they are.
Incompetent people tend to:
- Overestimate their own skill levels
- Fail to recognize the genuine skill and expertise of other people
- Fail to recognize their own mistakes and lack of skill
Dunning has pointed out that the very knowledge and skills necessary to be good at a task are the exact same qualities that a person needs to recognize that they are not good at that task. So if a person lacks those abilities, they remain not only bad at that task, but ignorant to their own inability.
An Inability to Recognize Lack of Skill and Mistakes