Why incompetent people think they're amazing


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/03/why-incompetent-people-think-t.html


My boss has this act down pat.


I’d like a more relevant video about why competent people think they are shit.


I rather suspect it has to do with competence being a product of the ability to critically evaluate one’s performance and improve on flaws. Competent people are prone to self criticism, and the more competent you get, the higher your standards for how competent you should be get, so it never really stops.




I already knew about this, because I am fucking great.


I was comically explaining to a couple of strangers (friend of friend situation) that we humans are all pieces of shit to varying degrees. They looked at me with shock and disgust as though I was insulting them on purpose. They probably think I’m an asshole, while I think they are self righteous luddites.


Dunning-Kruger and Imposter Syndrome basically sum up my experiences in offices through my entire work life to this point.

The D-Ks spend their time bragging and throwing their weight around, the competent IS folks end up doing all the work for fear that they will be discovered as flawed in some way. I am fairly sure one of my bosses consciously exploited imposter syndrome as an HR policy.


OMG, I’ve totally worked for “that guy” even if it wasn’t the same actual person.


Some Trump supporters I’ve discussed with online are classic Dunning-Krugers. They know virtually nothing about constitutional law, but assure me that they knew much more than any appellate court judge. They know nothing about foreign countries or history, but insist they are experts. They have made a series of poor life decisions, but insist they are wise beyond their years. They mock education because they know everything, you see.


And their god emperor is a classic case of Dunning-Kruger, so they have a conspicuous role model to emulate.


You know, if you just keep coming here with relevant Rocky & Bullwinkle gifs… I’m fine with that.


They would have to suffer from this syndrome if they voted for trump.


Ah, they mentioned it:

“When they are exceptionally competent, they don’t perceive how unusual their abilities are.”


It’s funny how I tend to feel incompetent all the time (thanks to being told by my dad in so many words that I was since childhood) even when I know I can do a passable job at most things. Sadly, it’s made me afraid to do new things since I feel like any screw up it one too many. So I can’t imagine how anyone can think they’re superior at anything if we always start from the “I suck at X” position in life.


It comes down to the fact that people who are bad at something “lack the very expertise needed to recognize how badly they’re doing.”

Another factor may be that the employment itself – by its very existence – gave these people the notion that they were at least good enough (i.e., wanted) for the job.

Not so strange, I think the Dunning-Kruger effect could also help explain the loyalty of Trumpsters.


I don’t feel the need to watch this video. It’s all been explained before, and TED talks really are like Charlie Brown’s teacher.


Yeah, this is like the fourth BB post in eight years linking to something that explains the Dunning-Kruger effect. I expect to see another one in about two years.


Yeah yeah, I read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on this, so I’m pretty much an expert.


I watched that video this morning. Hmmmm.