The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby people who are not very good at something overestimate their ability. For example, people who are terrible at telling jokes often believe that they good at it.
A classic example is shown in the story of McArthur Wheeler who walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o’clock news. When police later showed him the surveillance tapes, Mr Wheeler stared in incredulity. ‘But I wore the juice,’ he mumbled. Apparently, Mr Wheeler was under the impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to videotape cameras (Fuocco 1996). It seems that the less we know about something the more confident we tend to be.
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