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The Confident Incompetent

  1. May 19, 2007 #1
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/01/18/MN73840.DTL
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2007 #2
    What are they talking about?
     
  4. May 19, 2007 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    We've discussed this study before...
     
  5. May 19, 2007 #4

    George Jones

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    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

    Bertrand Russell

    Janus uses this as his signature.
     
  6. May 19, 2007 #5

    mathwonk

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    I found it interesting, and it meshes with the common phenomenon, no doubt discussed before, of the student who thinks he/she did well on a test they failed miserably. I just received such an inquiry yesterday. W also comes to mind rather quickly.

    I think that overconfidence also leads to incompetence, since I know otherwise intelligent people who have so much faith in their own ideas that they either do not seek, or readily discount the contrary advice of others. They seem to reason somewhat like: "I am a smart guy, why shouldn't I be right? Maybe others just do not have the courage to try this bold new idea."

    It may be a form of insecurity that makes it hard to accept sage advice. I notice also that here on the forum when I am most tempted to tell someone he is just flat wrong, that I have usually made a mistake myself.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  7. May 19, 2007 #6

    matthyaouw

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    I sometimes envy the sure and arrogant fool. It must be an easy life not having to think, to reason or to doubt. Curse my rational inquiring mind. :wink:
     
  8. May 19, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    So, when you see someone doing something completely stupid and are certain you know the right way to do it, which of you is really incompetent? :biggrin:

    And, yes, we've discussed this before if someone is inclined to search for the original discussion.
     
  9. May 19, 2007 #8
    Who's to say you're not both incompetent?
     
  10. May 19, 2007 #9
    the right one is the one who gets the job done.
     
  11. May 19, 2007 #10

    SpaceTiger

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    I especially notice this with the socially incompetent, probably because confidence often produces positive feedback.
     
  12. May 19, 2007 #11

    -Job-

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    We're all fairly incompetent at one point.
     
  13. May 19, 2007 #12
    Are you confident this is the case?
     
  14. May 19, 2007 #13
    lol, tossed a coin.
     
  15. May 19, 2007 #14
    Unquestioned overconfidence aside, being competent would mean realizing that sometimes an attitude of complete confidence is the most effective means to an end.
     
  16. May 19, 2007 #15

    SpaceTiger

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    And what is the end of a social interaction? We instinctively respond well to confident people, particularly in the short term, but I wouldn't say that such a response is the end all of social life. I've known many confident people that could be quite engaging face-to-face, but who ended up being resented or disrespected by their peers because of their other social mistakes. A face of confidence is important, but it does not itself constitute social competence.
     
  17. May 19, 2007 #16
    Actually, upon rereading the article, I find it is not saying "confidence = incompetence" at all.

    The competent are not excluded from awareness of their competence relative to others and in the light of evidence. In other words, the hallmark of competence seems to be the ability to adjust to the facts. The incompetent, according to the article, maintain a high self assessment despite being faced with evidence to the contrary.
     
  18. May 19, 2007 #17
    My statement was limited to the discrete insight that sometimes adoption of an attitude of confidence is the best means to an end. I wasn't intending to suggest that was a recipe for complete "social competence."
     
  19. May 19, 2007 #18
    i'd say i was hooked on phonics yet somehow aced mnemonics :rofl:, i guess it just comes down to how your brain is wired and how your taught. i knew this guy who was idiot savant, but when i played him in pool it's like he was made for it.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  20. May 19, 2007 #19

    SpaceTiger

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    But this goes without saying, I should think. The interesting question is to what extent social confidence correlates positively with social competence, and I was saying that, in my experience, it does not. Would you agree?
     
  21. May 19, 2007 #20
    i'd just like to say this one thing, know your audience, if you want to swagger then you have to pay a price for the cockyness (haters), humble confidence is best in pretty much any situation.
     
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