Dunning-Kruger Discussion




A post by Blair Fix at Economics from the Top Down about whether the Dunning-Kruger effect (the inverse relationship between one’s skills in a particular domain and one’s tendency to overestimate them) is a mere statistical artificat, that I put in the Heap of Links last week, generated some discussion, and prompted an email from a philosopher with a possibly helpful reference.

[Rene Magritte, Le Principe du Plaisir (detail)]

Amy Seymour, assistant professor of philosophy at Fordham University, writes:

The claims made by Blair Fix in “The Dunning-Kruger Effect is Autocorrelation” are both vastly overstated and ones to which David Dunning has responded. Notably, Kruger himself raised the original statistical complaint twenty years ago (with Mueller in 2002, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), but Kruger also refutes that complaint in the immediately following article in the very same issue of the journal (with Dunning, 2002). The responses to the complaint seem compelling and there’s lots of further research which suggests the effect is fairly robust.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the Dunning response:

Often, scholars cite statistical artefacts to argue that the Dunning-Kruger effect is not real. But they fail to notice that the pattern of self-misjudgements remains regardless of what may be producing it. Thus, the effect is still real; the quarrel is merely over what produces it. Are self-misjudgements due to psychological circumstances (such as metacognitive deficits among the unknowledgeable) or are they due to statistical principles, revealing self-judgement to be a noisy, unreliable, and messy business?

The piece by Dunning is here.

Further discussion welcome.

Originally appeared on Daily Nous Read More