3. Question yourself
One of the simplest ways to avoid this cognitive bias is to genuinely and frequently question your own abilities, knowledge and beliefs. Ask yourself if your decisions and conclusions are based on facts and experience or hunches. Dunning himself believes that we need to challenge ourselves to find out if we are wrong about ourselves. He suggests “Ask yourself where you could be wrong if the decision is an important one. Or how can your plans end up in disaster? Think that through – it matters. Think about what you don’t know. That is, check your assumptions.”
Kendra Cherry explains “Question what you know. Even as you learn more and get feedback, it can be easy to only pay attention to things that confirm what you think you already know. In order to minimize this tendency, keep challenging your beliefs and expectations. Seek out information that challenges your ideas.”
Are you really as good as you believe?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” – Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man
The Dunning-Kruger effect is one of the most common cognitive biases which we can experience personally or know someone who overestimates themselves. It can significantly impact our thoughts, behaviors and decisions which can drastically change our lives. Although we tend to find faults in others easily and may recognize the phenomenon in people around us, we need to be aware of our own competency as well.
“When you think you’re really good at something, find an objective way to assess your expertise. You may see you’re falling victim to DKE [Dunning-Kruger effect] without knowing it (because you wouldn’t). We are all human, after all,” explains Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., a lecturer at UCLA.
Educational consultant Kendra Cherry, MS concludes “By understanding the underlying causes that contribute to this psychological bias, you might be better able to spot these tendencies in yourself and find ways to overcome them.”
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: