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Expert or over-confident?

Do you know about the Dunning & Kruger effect and how it impacts decision making?


Dunning & Kruger published a paper in 1999 titled: "Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments."


The authors "propose that those with limited knowledge in a domain suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach mistaken conclusions and make regrettable errors, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."


In the 3 studies conducted for the paper, participants in the bottom quartile predicted that they performed at around the same level as the top quartile, while the top quartile underestimated their own performances. It's important to note that this Dunning-Kruger effect is not deliberate, but an extension of positive confirmation-bias. (On a side-note, social media algorithms use confirmation-bias to filter feeds and keep users interested).


When it comes to health & safety, it's important we're aware of the potential adverse impact of the Dunning & Kruger effect, and ensure we have competent persons appointed to enable the organisation to manage risk effectively.


Reach out to us if you'd like to discuss how we can help your organisation assess current HSE capability and improve outcomes.



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