We Are All Confident Idiots

Dunning’s “We Are All Confident Idiots” is an article about the fact that the human race seemingly does not have the ability to admit when they do not know something. With confidence, the majority of us quickly try to prove that instead, we are knowledgeable in the subject matter. Even when asked questions that we clearly do not know the answers to, we tend to over compensate and make it seem like we are fluent and concise in the given field.

Though some may not agree or realize this truth so willingly, upon reading this article, the first thing that came to my mind was something that I, myself, have a tendency to do… Help someone by giving directions to a place that I, myself do not know how to get too. Upon a quick feel of self assurance, I tell myself, you can get them there, no worries, yet most times however this is not true.

If one still cannot find a connection to this article in his or her life, apart from the certainty of bursting your bubble by truths told from loved ones, Dunning can also back his notion. While starting from truths installed at birth, Dunning approaches his claim with examples and real life scenarios. Apart from his own research Dunning has included a video interview done by Jimmy Kimmel, renowned comedian and television host, interviewing people at a concert. Kimmel asks a series of questions about bands whom are actually fictional. Most of the people being questioned do not admit they have no idea who each one is; instead they support this claim by seemingly turning a fictional character into a real and popular being.


One thought on “We Are All Confident Idiots

  1. Did your laptop die mid-sentence at the end there? lol.

    In any case, I think you’re right that one of the most effective parts of this essay is that it teaches something that we almost immediately recognize about ourselves, but didn’t necessarily recognize until we thought about it.

    At the same time, I think it does more than that–because I think that it makes that idea more complex and more serious as the essay goes on. That’s why he adds on all that additional research–he has more to say, and things that are more specific, and more important, about science and politics, and the way we think about knowledge, etc etc.

    We’ll talk more about this w/r/t essays throughout the class.


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