cover photo Reflect Blog
Ingo Kallenbach

What if employeess overestimate themselves?

The Dunning-Kruger effect states that poeple often think that they are competent although actually they only have little knowledge regarding a certain topic. A team of the University of Colorado now has been able to prove this effect. Moreover, it has found a possibility of preventing it. In the study conducted under the guidance of Philip M. Fernbach 198 participants were asked for their opinion regarding intricate political constellations. Afterwards, the participants were asked to factually explain these constellations and to give a new evaluation.


It turned out that the radical and unrealistic opinions stated first were softened after the factual description. The challenge of having to subjectively explain complex topics, led to a confrontation with the own ignorance. This again led to a more matter-of-fact judgement which ended up in a realistic, less radical or extreme evaluation. In how far these results can be transferred to situations in a business context or regarding personnel development, needs to be tested. This could not only make the cooperation more pleasant, but it could also keep hybris people from one or more wrong decisions.