Why the Unskilled are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-Insight Among the Incompetent
Posted: 22 Nov 2006
Date Written: September 1, 2006
People typically provide overly optimistic social comparisons when rating their competence relative to their peers. Previous work has shown that poor performers overestimate their performances the most because their incompetence deprives them of the skills needed to recognize their deficits. Five studies demonstrated that poor performers lack insight into their shortcomings even in real world settings and when given incentives to be accurate. An additional meta-analysis showed that it was lack of insight into their errors (and not mistaken assessments of their peers) that led to overly optimistic social comparison estimates among poor performers. Along the way, these studies ruled out recent alternative accounts that have been proposed to explain why poor performers hold such positive impressions of their performance.
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