Posted on | June 21, 2010 | 37 Comments
This question wasn’t his research topic, but I think Cornell University psychology Professor David Dunning has found the answer:
“When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead . . . they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”
Two words: Peggy Joseph.
UPDATE II: Obi’s Sister informs us that the Book of Ecclesiastes had already explained this phenomenon. In e-mailing me the link, Obi’s Sister — who lives in my hometown of Lithia Springs, Ga. — informed me that she recently had a long talk with my old buddy Scott Spencer. Scott lived on Creel Drive, across the woods from Deborah Lane. We thought we were pretty mischievous, but the real trouble began when a fellow named Brooks moved in on Janet Street. No need to recount those boyhood misadventures, now that Spencer’s the eminently respectable fire chief of Douglas County. That is, unless Spencer starts telling tales on me, of course.