Victim-blaming, gun control, feminism and pride are all words that social media discusses flagrantly on a day-to-day basis. Our society recognizes these as problems, but these controversies may be a result of more individual problems.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a phenomenon where individuals who are actually underperforming, generally overrate their performances due to a lack of metacognitive skills. A TedEd video called “Why Incompetent People Think They’re Amazing” features this effect and studies that show society’s “illusory superiority.” An example from the video said that 88 percent of American drivers self-identified themselves as above-average drivers. These are the same people who don’t use a blinker to change lanes.
Often times, poor performers are unable to recognize how badly they are doing because they lack the skills to evaluate their performance. Unfortunately, everyone is deceived by their own competence. The Dunning-Kruger Effect supports the idea that success is more easily achieved through knowledge, and that a lack of knowledge is our downfall. In contrast to what the video claims, perhaps the downfall is less about a deficit in knowledge, but a surplus in ego.
As nice as it would be to believe that people generally admit to their condition when confronted with the truth, people who have the truth can still choose rejection or indifference. For example, people will continue to smoke even with the knowledge that a cigarette is an instrument of death. With this logic, people have a one in three chance of actually realizing their downfalls, not including the amount of times people are actually confronted with this chance every day.
People will believe what they want, but it all comes down to how ignorance is manifested. People who are not as experienced tend to believe they are, while people who are experienced tend to believe everyone else is too. These conflicting manifestations of ignorance cause what is called controversy, and the only antidote is metacognition.