Browse Definitions :
Definition

Dunning-Kruger effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias that leads incompetent people to overestimate their own intelligence and capability. Despite their shortcomings, people affected may nevertheless rise to positions of power, aided by their self-confidence in their own abilities. Typically, they attribute any success to their perceived innate superiority rather than external factors such as privilege and connections.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is essentially a failure of metacognition, which can be defined as the ability of an individual to objectively think about their own cognitive processes. According to some experts, those affected by the syndrome may essentially lack the mental capacity to understand their own limitations. Unwarranted confidence in their cognitive powers and acumen may lead to significantly flawed decisions, which can have a serious impact when the individual in question is in a position of power and those decisions affect large numbers of people.

Although it can be hard to remediate the Dunning-Kruger effect, there are measures that can reduce the likelihood of its development or its severity. Although the capacity for critical thinking and rational thought vary from one person to another, they can be encouraged through effort and education. 

The Dunning-Kruger effect is related to the self-serving bias, which leads people to view our own actions in a positive light and prefer interpretations of data that serve their purposes, and the Peter principle, which maintains that people rise to their level of incompetence and then tend to stay in that position. 

The effect is named for Justin Kruger and David Dunning who first identified it in their paper, Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.

This was last updated in December 2018

Continue Reading About Dunning-Kruger effect

SearchCompliance

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

SearchSecurity

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker makes it impossible for legitimate users to ...

  • information security (infosec)

    Information security, often shortened to infosec, is the practice, policies and principles to protect data and other kinds of ...

  • user authentication

    User authentication verifies the identity of a user attempting to gain access to a network or computing resource by authorizing a...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close