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Archive for December, 2020

On Dunning-Kruger, Surgical Self Assessment, and some Surgical Buzzwords too Watch out For

It’s been well documented that people are generally poor judges of their own skills. Dunning and Kruger studied and published on this topic, creating the term Dunning-Kruger effect, which summed up, states that “poor performers are not in a position to recognize the shortcomings in their own performance”. Ehrlinger et all followed Dunning-Kruger in their paper “Why the Unskilled are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-insight Among the Incompetent,” further coming to the conclusion that the relatively unskilled are unaware that they lack those skills. Other papers have shown that if you objectively split performers into quartiles, and then ask those quartiles where they believe there relative skills are, it comes out like this:

Top quartile of performers -> believes they are in the 2nd quartile

2nd quartile of performers -> believes they are 2nd or 3rd quartile

3rd quartile of performers -> believes they are in 1st or 2nd quartile

4th quartile of performers -> believes they are in the 1st or 2nd quartile

Effectively, the best performers think they are ok but could be better, while the worst performers believe they are at or near the top of performance. Effectively, they do not realize what they do not know.

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Categories: Education, General
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