The Loh Down On Science

Ignorance is Bliss

Among the truly inept, gross overconfidence reigns supreme.

Think you've got talent, America? Well think again!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh, with the Loh Down on Science.

Old people think they're good drivers, yet insurance statistics scream otherwise. Meanwhile NINETY-FOUR PERCENT of college professors consider themselves above-average--a mathematical impossibility.

What gives?

To find out, U.S. researchers went to several classrooms and competitions, and asked people to judge their own performance.

They found that self-appraisals of average and top performers were right in the ballpark.

Among poor performers, however, gross overconfidence reined.

For example, losing college debaters overestimated their number of wins by one hundred sixty-seven percent.

Wondering if they could bribe folks to get a clue, the researchers PAID people, up to one-hundred dollars, to accurately assess themselves. And--? Still delusional.

Then they tried a social incentive-- making folks justify their self-assessments to others. No difference.

The conclusion? People who are truly AWFUL at something lack the skill or knowledge to even RECOGNIZE HOW TRULY, OUTRAGEOUSLY incompetent they are.

Ignorance really IS bliss!

Now forget you heard this. And yes we DO love it when you break into that high harmony while singing Happy Birthday! Sure!


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