Friday, September 30, 2016

***RANT*** Dunning-Kruger Effect (in daily life)

I was reading a Salon article about this thing called the Dunning-Kruger Effect and almost shouted right out loud, "Oh, my damn!!!" because a lightbulb went on. The article was about Trump, but my thoughts immediately flashed to people I personally know.

Let me give you the nutshell definition so that you can also do the shout-and-thought-flash thing:
a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is.(Wikipedia)
Did you shout out and thought-flash?

Self-absorbed and oblivious...: This was such an epiphany for me. I've struggled for years to accurately label certain combinations of behaviors. This nailed it.

You know people afflicted with the D-K E. Sure you do. Or, rather, you've been afflicted with people with the effect. (You know what I mean.) Let's do a rundown of people you might know who...:

  • Think that they absolutely must be the center of attention always. 
  • Express everything bigger than need be. If they talk, they talk loud. Step on their toe or bump into them, they shriek. 
  • Never treat others the way they expect to be treated. For them the Golden Rule is only used to measure their own importance. Their time is more important than yours. Their need for peace and quiet is more important than yours. When they are tired, the whole world must stop and bow down while they rest up. Your time? Meh. You're tired? Well, buck up and quit being such a wimp. You need a little downtime to think, breathe or recoup? ~eyeroll~
  • They want what they want what they want, damned be the consequences or fallout.
  • When they do for you, it comes with a list of unspoken conditions longer than a lease agreement for a credit card. When you do for them, it should be because a) They are so loveable (plus, you owe them), b) They just did something for you (so you owe them). or b) They will make sure to get credit for it in some way (back pats and sympathy are the two favorites).
  • They can be quite loveable - with a lot of patience on your part.
  • Everything they do is for manipulation, sympathy, credit, or show.

I have found a wonderful way of dealing with oblivious or distracting D-K E people. I use it all the time, especially in the "quiet" rooms of the library or when I am trying to write:

*planet explodes*  Me: *takes out one earbud*  Me: "What?":
True story

You should be ashamed. You're no longer a journalist or good Anchorman. Just sheep cow cowing  the political Powers. Douchebags!!!: Don't get me wrong, all of us who know these types of people do truly love them. But it is exhausting. There is always a constant feeling of guilt and self-doubt in relatioships with D-K E people. Always.

Donald Trump is not a completely bad person. He's not stupid and as he likes to point out when some of his negative behavior is questioned: maybe he's just being smart. I guess it is smart to manipulate things and people to always get what you want. I just wonder if it's satisfying...


Disclaimer: This is a non-political post. I spend as little time as I can thinking about Trump or his antics. Less stress.