It was past the time the cows came home. The good missus and I were squeezing out the few minutes between verticality and horizontality.
It was time to go to bed because the next day was a working day. However, The good wife was on her phone, scrolling through the various videos that social media algorithms were feeding her device.
There was this dude who was singing away to glory. That video was to entice people to a local bar that hosted karaoke events every weekend.
I use the word ‘entice’ with care because he was doing such a horrible job of singing the song that it probably was bait to get people over; two, er..three classes of people.
- One, those who think they can do a better job and
- Two, those who felt if he can do it, I can.
- Three, those repulsed by the singing, muttering, if this is the standard, then even wild horses cannot drag me there.
Now, how can you find wild horses in a city? Exactly.
“Doesn’t he know he can’t sing?” asked my wife.
My reply was, “the poor bloke may not even know enough to know that he can’t sing.”
As soon as those words popped out, I had a surreal experience. I heard myself speak something I never knew existed in my knowledge bank.
The next day, after all the necessary expulsions and intakes, I headed straight to my laptop to find out why people sometimes overestimate their capabilities.
It was then that I stumbled upon the Dunning-Kruger effect.
What is the DK effect? And I am not talking about Dinesh Kartik, you cricket crazies.
The Dunning-Kruger effect
Here it is, courtesy Chat.openAI
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is named after a 1999 study by David Dunning and Justin Kruger, in which they found that people who scored poorly on a test of their sense of humor also tended to overestimate their sense of humor. The effect is related to metacognition, or the ability to think about one’s thinking. People with low ability at a task may be unable to accurately assess their knowledge because they lack the metacognitive skills needed to do so. This can lead to a phenomenon known as “illusory superiority,” in which people believe they are more skilled or knowledgeable than they really are.
The DK effect pervades the entire universe, irrespective of gender, race, or color.
Rombo, sorry, saar/madam, but that includes you and me.
Consider a scenario. You are flying at 30,000 ft and into your third glass of wine. The PA system crackles into life.
“Is there a pilot on board?”
A smart aleck pipes up. ” Actually, there should be two in the cockpit.”
He looks around for applause for the beautiful joke. Or so he thinks.
The steward is not amused.
“We have an emergency on board, and the pilots are incapacitated. I repeat, is there anyone here who can land a plane safely?”
If you raise your arm to volunteer to fly the plane because you watched a few videos on YouTube or if you played a flight simulation game, don’t blame it on the wine.
It’s a case of a full-blown Dunning-Kruger effect.