Thursday, May 07, 2015

Science Shows Why Stupid Folks Praise Stupid Folks

Pamela Geller
I'm somewhat happy to report there appears to be a theory to explain why deeply uninformed folks suffer from "illusory superiority".

Such a theory helps explain the idiocy of, for instance, folks in Texas who firmly believe the U.S. Military is prepping an attack on Texas and even why rabid hate-speakers like Pamela Geller considers herself a defender of Free Speech. This theory likely explains why some consider FOX News a source of "fair and balanced" journalism.

The theory is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A 1999 study at Cornell University by psychologists David Dunning and Justin Krueger concluded that this effect is:

"... a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.
Pretend News on FOX

"The study was inspired by the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that, because lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras."

Hoo boy, does that explain a lot of wacky thinking and talking from certain people and groups.

The summation here also notes such people:

fail to recognize their own lack of skill
fail to recognize genuine skill in others
fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy

recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill

There is a very real threat and danger to the rest of us from the folks who suffer from their delusions of wisdom -- incompetence grows quickly and, when voiced by someone in a position of authority their madness gets legitimized as having some value or truth.