What Does the Dunning-Kruger Effect do to a WHS Student?

Nadia Ansari

In many online medical journals across the United States, the Dunning-Kruger effect is defined as a cognitive bias to “inflate self assessment”(Aeon,QZ). This study has been brought up in multiple psychology classrooms since 1995 when a man by the name of  Mcarthur Wheeler robbed a Pittsburgh bank in broad daylight without a ski mask or any disguise– just lemon juice on his face. When Wheeler was caught by Pittsburgh police and arrested hours later, he said that the lemon juice was his “disguise” because it is used as invisible ink. He believed his face would become invisible.

This is an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. People who believe that they do not need improvement on their education or any other aspect of their life tend to not succeed later on in the future, while others who think that they need more improvement and are not good enough tend to be smarter than the average person. This is because they put more effort into their education. An article from QZ states that “the illusion of confidence” affects how much someone can get out of the classroom or everyday life.


So how does this affect a Woodcreek Student?  


Many students who lack confidence in advanced courses and those students who try to work hard to get better tend to be smarter than two-thirds of their graduating class. While on the other hand, students who refuse to get better and are very self-obsessed with themselves may have it figured out from their point of view, but most likely are not successful in any of their classes because they are making no effort in getting better. Underachievers seem to overestimate their intelligence.

I do not believe that there are only “smart” people and “dumb” people in this world. Everyone has been on one side of this case: either being very self-conscious about their education and trying to get better, or being ignorant and refusing to get help. If everyone has an open mind about their education, we can all do better in the future.