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‘Unskilled and Unaware’

The Dunning-Krüger effect is one of the most interesting and revealing yet self-doubt-inflicting thing that I have learned in the recent past. I learned about it on the You are not that Smart Podcast Episode 361 in which David McRaney interviews the conductor of the study, David Dunning himself.

Once I learned about it, I started to notice talk about it on many sites that I usually read. Eventually I ran upon a short, and to the point description of this effect by no other than John Cleese in John Cleese on Stupidity2:

… who (David Dunnning) has pointed out, that in order to know how good you are someting, requires the exact same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place. Which means … that if you are absolutely no good at something, at all, then you lack exactly the skills that you need to know that you’re ablsolutely no good at it.

I find this very fascinating and it explains so much. Yet being aware of it, opened also a whole new box of stuff to worry about.


  1. With the chance of being annoying but I highly recommend this podcast. Every episode is fascinating and I learn always something new. 
  2. via: John Cleese on How “Stupid People Have No Idea How Stupid They Are 

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