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Don’t you just love it when you discover that there may be a scientific basis for your own observations. The Dunning–Kruger effect [^] is the phenomenon whereby the lesser-skilled overestimate their abilities and the highly-skilled underestimate theirs. As Bertrand Russell said:

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

Apparently there is still some debate over the validity of the effect; but how else can you explain the observation? The Peter Principle [^] is another possibility; this is where someone is promoted to their level of incompetence. That is, a person in a hierarchy continues to rise until they reach a point completely out of their field of expertise.

Peter Principle On a lighter note there is also the simple fact that nothing can compete with natural stupidity [^].

One Comment

  1. The ABC Science Show has just had a nice summary of the Dunning-Kruger effect

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