Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The recent kerfuffle about the Fairleigh Dickinson poll demonstrating that folks who watch Fox News [aka Faux News] are less informed than folks who watch no news at all reminded me of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.  Quoting the Wiki:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.  Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".  The effect is about paradoxical defects in cognitive ability, both in oneself and as one compares oneself to others.

Psychology Today sums it up - Ignorance Begets Confidence , and Bertrand Russell provides a corollary “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” But who can top Jon Stewart's versus Faux News!


Wow - Liars and Biased!!


And this one is a must see!


Bizzy Brain said...

"If ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."

Steve Heller said...

Guess life is passing me by. I don't watch Fox News or John Stewart. I also don't believe "psychology" is science. I did read a lot of Bertrand Russell while in late teens and early twenties. However, his being an atheist left an intellectual vacuum, as it does in all non-believers. Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Phil L. said...

If psychology is science, it is a very soft science, indeed. Too many "psychological" studies out there advance the cause of liberalism by "proving" conservatives, Republicans, Bible believing Christians, etc. are backward and stupid. Fortunately, their brain cleaniing "studies" don't work on the sane.

Dr S said...

Cuz - I too do not watch Fox News and rarely catch Jon Stewart Live; I do go on a Daily Show Binge now and then and watch a bunch of full episodes online. Stewart understands that he is a comedian with a bias whereas the Fox folks proclaim that they are unbiased, 'fair and balanced' news reporters.

What probably bothers me the most is that many people are like my folks who don't have the time or inclination to question the veracity of the 'reporting' on Fox. They accept the blame-Obama -for-everyghing mantra hook-line-and-sinker while not reflecting on the actions of congress, former presidents and their administrations, etc.

Re Russell and atheism - you would probably agree that both athiests and believers have said some rather profound things as well as some very foolish things :-)

BB - I really don't think that ignorance is bliss.

Phil - stupid is as stupid does. FG