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Dunning-Kruger Effect: inaccurate self-assessment concerning our own competence (Read 4486 times)

Offline stevebob

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Is anyone familiar with this condition?  I perceived it many times in the course of encounters with people in everyday life before I thought much about it, and only recently found out that it actually has a name.

In a nutshell, Dunning-Kruger Effect is a tendency toward faulty self-appraisal in areas of knowledge or expertise:  unskilled people may overestimate their abilities, and, conversely, experts can understate or undervalue their own skill set.

Dunning-Kruger is by no means limited to musical proficiency, though it has obvious relevance in the context of amateur performance; I had encountered it in academic settings, too, and found it especially widespread in the workplace.  It can be painful to observe people who are oblivious to their shortcomings, and it's equally poignant when those who routinely sell themselves short miss out on opportunities for success and self-fulfillment.

I reckon that Dunning-Kruger Effect is something that anyone seriously pursuing any avocation with artistry and craftsmanship might wish to avoid.  Perhaps awareness of it is the best inoculation against its effects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Delusions of Grandeur is what I remember it being called. It is more of a "You don't know that you don't know" (but think that you know, making what you KNOW and THINK the same deal which is not correct), that this exists in everyones life, more so in some people than others. Musically we can often be in areas where we just don't know we don't know, beginners have this a lot although I have met advanced pianists who will not let go of "bad habits" and ineffective approach because they believe it is the best (for them at least).
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline vviola

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Nice quote. "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." I think I'll add that to my signature. I think this "effect" can be applied to a lot of pianists. Certainly to more bad amateurs than virtuosi, at least.

Offline john11inc

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect is famously worthless and serves only as a non-existent crutch for the ignorant and wrong.  For reasons that should be painfully obvious to anyone that actually thinks about it.

Watch.  I can prove it.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline perfect_pitch

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In a nutshell, Dunning-Kruger Effect is a tendency toward faulty self-appraisal in areas of knowledge or expertise:  unskilled people may overestimate their abilities

I think Australian Idol is full of people suffering from this...   :D

Offline stevebob

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If Australian Idol is a regional variant of the television show called American Idol in the U.S., the audition phase of the program is an especially vivid and painful example!  (Unfortunately, we no longer have the inimitable Paula Abdul to smile wistfully at the hapless wannabe and inform him or her, "It's just ... not for you.")

Another startling manifestation of self-image that's incongruent with reality is the supposed statistic that most people believe themselves to be good drivers.  I guess the reason I see most of them talking on cell phones, then, is (in addition to ordinary, garden-variety entitlement!) that they're too skilled on the road for an animated conversation to pose a hazard.

I didn't know of the Bertrand Russell quotation in the Wikipedia article that's now in vviola's sig line, but I'm fond of one attributed to Mark Twain:  "It's not what we don't know that's the problem; it's what we're sure of that just ain't so."  Daniel Patrick Moynihan's "You're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts" is nice, too, as is an old Latin standby:  Vasa inania multum strepunt.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline perfect_pitch

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If Australian Idol is a regional variant of the television show called American Idol in the U.S., the audition phase of the program is an especially vivid and painful example

It is - Australian idol is a variant... the sad part is that we don't just have painful singers auditioning - we get painful singers lacking in any talent whatsoever, believing they're full of it through the *** show all the way to the bloody finale - it's pathetic.

Offline Bob

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Yes, I've heard of it.  The novice thinks they're a genius.  The expert is aware of how much they really don't know.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline richard black

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One of the wisest old birds I've met in the music world said to me, many years ago, 'One of the hardest and yet most important things for a musician is to know whether he or she is any good' (or words to that effect). Look at Toscanini - at the pinnacle of his profession and yet wracked by self-doubt to the end of his days.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline pianowolfi

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To me it seems quite amusing and unintentionally ironical that somebody who has posted this

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=36282.msg418949#msg418949

has now opened this particular thread....


Offline Karli

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Offline Karli

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Offline Karli

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Offline pianowolfi

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Woah ... what in the world are you talking about ?

Well I think she made her point clear. I just need time to think about it, so why do you jump in so quickly?  ;D

Offline stevebob

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To me it seems quite amusing and unintentionally ironical that somebody who has posted this

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=36282.msg418949#msg418949

has now opened this particular thread....

Your comment is inapposite.

Marik revived a month-old thread not to offer his own answer to the original poster's question or even to give his own opinion about what is, after all, a matter of opinion, but only to attack my opinion instead.  Furthermore, his suggestion that the order of difficulty of Chopin's etudes is well-settled and unanimously accepted among musicians was simply bogus.

I gave him the same respect I accord any stranger on the internet about whom I know nothing.  I expect the same in return, and I didn't get it.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline pianowolfi

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Your comment is inapposite.

Marik revived a month-old thread not to offer his own answer to the original poster's question or even to give his own opinion about what is, after all, a matter of opinion, but simply to attack my opinion instead.  Furthermore, his suggestion that the order of difficulty of Chopin's etudes is well-settled and unanimously accepted among musicians was simply bogus.

I gave him the same respect I accord any stranger on the internet about whom I know nothing.  I expect the same in return, and I didn't get it.

Oh no. What you say is "bogus". If you really had taken the time and for instance read some of Marik's posts where he talks about Chopin etudes and listened to some of his recordings you would have never written like this. At least I do very much hope so.
I guess there is somebody who needs a bit to research about "who is who", and not only about "whom is whom"...;)


Offline Karli

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Offline stevebob

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Oh no. What you say is "bogus". If you really had taken the time and for instance read some of Marik's posts where he talks about Chopin etudes and listened to some of his recordings you would have never written like this. At least I do very much hope so.
I guess there is somebody who needs a bit to research about "who is who", and not only about "whom is whom"...;)

That's not how it works.  Nobody is obliged to do background research on someone's expertise or posting history before responding.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline pianowolfi

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That's not how it works.  Nobody is obliged to do background research on someone's expertise or posting history before responding.

Yes you're right. A bit of respect would be enough...

Offline stevebob

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Yes you're right. A bit of respect would be enough...

I agree, and I give as good as I get!  Now consider that I'm supposed to have disrespected Marik without knowing anything about him; at the same time, I'm being disrespected by people who know nothing about me.  I think there's some humor and unintentional irony in that.  :)
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline pianowolfi

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I agree, and I give as good as I get!  Now consider that I'm supposed to have disrespected Marik without knowing anything about him; at the same time, I'm being disrespected by people who know nothing about me.  I think there's some humor and unintentional irony in that.  :)

Well I have now read that whole conversation there again and I can't find anything disrespectful towards you in Marik's posts....plus he is telling a lot about his background and where he comes from and which whom he has studied and more...
As I think well enough to give a very founded opinion.

Offline thalbergmad

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I think this is a load of bollox

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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I think this is a load of bollox

Thal

You don't know anything fatty.

Everyone here thinks you are a weirdo.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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You don't know anything fatty.

Everyone here thinks you are a weirdo.

Thal

Shows what you know then, you pile of worthless refuse.

I once met Ashkenazy on a train, so i know what i am talking about.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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Shows what you know then, you pile of worthless refuse.

I once met Ashkenazy on a train, so i know what i am talking about.

Thal

What!!!

That was not Ashkenazy, just some dweeb in a white polo necked jumper.

Get some glasses you short sighted overweight globule guts.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline synthex

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Offline thalbergmad

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What!!!

That was not Ashkenazy, just some dweeb in a white polo necked jumper.

Get some glasses you short sighted overweight globule guts.

Thal

Hey knobhead, keep up the insults and i will report you.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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Hey knobhead, keep up the insults and i will report you.

Thal

You cannot report me you basketball shaped testicle as you cannot report your own posts.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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You cannot report me you basketball shaped testicle as you cannot report your own posts.

Thal

Just watch me pal.

You don't know who you are messing with.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline stevebob

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Well I have now read that whole conversation there again and I can't find anything disrespectful towards you in Marik's posts....plus he is telling a lot about his background and where he comes from and which whom he has studied and more...
As I think well enough to give a very founded opinion.

Reasonable minds may differ, but that's certainly not how it seemed to me.

Marik's posts amounted, in my opinion, to "I'm right and you're wrong" in both spirit and content.  Whatever his qualifications and accomplishments, his communication style was confrontative and conveyed entitlement.  I had, after all, previously made my position very clear in a disclaimer that should have obviated any reason to dispute or discredit what I had written.

I believe I was prejudged to be a know-nothing newcomer by him, just as I have been subsequently judged by you and Karli.  But you don't know who you're talking to, and you shouldn't automatically presume that someone else knows less than you do.  Your first post in this thread, which posited irony in my interest in the Dunning-Kruger effect, was predicated on exactly that.

I'm meticulous about distinguishing fact from opinion, and I'm very cautious not to overstate my proficiency or knowledge in any area.  You have no evidence I've ever done so, and it was mean-spirited to imply it.  Of course, you might have meant that I manifest the other polarity of Dunning-Kruger—i.e., that I'm surely an insecure savant who downplays his expertise—but somehow I don't think that was the case.   :P
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline Karli

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Offline stevebob

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Save your hand-wringing, Karli.  If you think I'm trying to "stir the pot" here, all I can say is pot kettle black.  Your remarks in the other thread were patently offensive.

p.s.  You're wrong about the spelling of Justin Kruger's name.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline martin_blank

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Waaaahh!  Waaaahh!

I have all these credentials and this nobody poster still disagrees with my opinion!  BFD.

Seems to me that someone so highly-credentialed wouldn't care if the hoi-polloi agree or not.  Damn, that's one massive ego.  Meanwhile, others are crying because there wasn't a proper kow-tow to a holder of uber-knowledge?

Fooken' unbelievable.

Incidentally, I happen to agree that 10/2 is more difficult than 25/5.  Someone else has a wildly different opinion.  Wow, what a surprise; this is the interwebz and I'm really a dog!  Hey, would someone disagree with me so I can make a grand gesture about being done with this forum?  Oop, what if no one notices my leaving, ha!

**thalbergmad**
that was some funny stuff!

Good luck everyone and no hard feelings.


Offline thalbergmad

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Not wishing to diss anyones opinion, but Marik is pretty much God as far as I am concerned. I have always found it easier to take the word of a man who i know can do what he says. His recording of the Weber/Tausig invitation clearly demonstrates to me that he is a master of his trade with supreme artistry and rock solid technique.

On the downside, he does waste his talent on Schumann, but none of us are free of sin.

Peace to all.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline richard black

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Having just been pointed by this thread to the Marik vs Stevebob spat, I can't see anything remotely offensive or point-scoring in anything Marik wrote there, however hard I try. Strikes me Stevebob owes a big apology to Marik, and frankly to other posters here for pissing off someone we (clearly a large number of us) rated highly as a public-spirited contributor who gave freely of his considerable knowledge and experience.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.


Offline pianowolfi

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@Thal: ROFL  ;D 8)
@Gargamel: Nice to see you every once in a while. Good point :)
@Karli: I must say, I also prefer the KruEger-effect  8)

Offline gep

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Quote
In a nutshell, Dunning-Kruger Effect is a tendency toward faulty self-appraisal in areas of knowledge or expertise:  unskilled people may overestimate their abilities, and, conversely, experts can understate or undervalue their own skill set.
So true, I see it again and again every day, while my expertise is underestimated every time, bugger!

Quote
Everyone here thinks you are a weirdo.
I'm sure there are people here who do not think that!

Right?

Right??!!

Hellóóó everybody!!

Hello?

Anybody?

At all???

 ;)

Quote
KruEger-effect 
Krüger-effect? The ü is usually written as ue in languages that don't have the ü (likewise ö becomes oe, as in Schönberg/Schoenberg)
In the long run, any words about music are less important than the music. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not worth talking to (Shostakovich)

Offline Karli

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Offline synthex

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Offline stevebob

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That thing about me demonstrating the subject of my own topic was so insightful, even if I'm still not sure whether I'm a manifestation of (1) the self-effacing expert who knows music inside and out and plays splendidly but is too demure to recognize it, or (2) the deluded dolt who can't peck out Mary Had a Little Lamb but fancies himself to be flawless.  Maybe other people who seem to know more about me than I know myself can help me figure it out.

You know, I had actually thought my reason for starting this thread was a rather appalling recording that I heard in the Audition Room—but now it looks like that was just an example of me thinking I knew something I don't!  Yipes, Dunning-Kruger again.  The humor and irony are downright humbling.

Oh and BTW your facts are no more factual than your opinions, but it's nice nonetheless that you expended energy on something for which you advised me not to waste my own.  Thanks so much!
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline vviola

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Which recording?

Offline stevebob

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It wasn't any single recording, in which case it wouldn't consider it germane to this topic.  It was a pattern, actually, of an individual posting various not-ready-for-prime-time recordings.  Even that wouldn't be especially commentworthy in and of itself, but it's been accompanied by posts that express unmitigated hubris and an incongruous pretense of very high-level pianism rather than the modesty appropriate to a tyro.  Maybe it's D-K, maybe it's some deeper pathology … maybe it's just trolling.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline synthex

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Offline stevebob

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There's no contradiction in what I said.  The "appalling recording" in question was simply the most recent in a series from the same person.  And as I tried to make clear, neither the recording nor the number of such recordings is the issue; my point, and the sole connection to D-K, was that the posturing of the pianist was belied by the performances.

You're still wasting your energy on this topic, so I wonder how low you will go in your apparent agenda to discredit me!  You certainly have a voice of empowerment and entitlement for somebody who's been on this board for a shorter time than even I have.  Be careful, or somebody might accuse you of being the poster boy for Dunning-Kruger.  :)
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline Karli

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Offline vviola

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I think Karli wins this thread, you guys.

Offline stevebob

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Karli indubitably needs to win this thread.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline ahinton

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Karli indubitably needs to win this thread.
I was unaware that anyone needed to "win" this thread, since it is not presented as any kind of competition and, whilst I cannot of course speak for Karli, I would be somewhat surprised if she thought otherwise.

Best,

Alistair
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline stevebob

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And I was unaware, too, until someone else said it!  It's just like with a number of other things that had to be pointed out to me here that I would never have recognized on my own.  Dunning-Kruger, you know.  :)

But competition or not, I knows some award-winning philosophizing when I reads it.
What passes you ain't for you.