We had already talked about Dunning Kruger Effect, someone who thinks of everything believing to know more than others, when in fact he knows much less than others. That is, incompetence over one's incompetence.
Today we go one step further to talk about the effect of believing that one, being an expert, knows even what you can't know.
The previous effect is named after researchers David Dunning Y Justin Kruger, and now Dunning has done a new study with his colleagues Stav Atir Y Emily Rosenzweig.
In a series of experiments conducted at Cornell University, researchers found that people with more knowledge in a particular domain they were more likely to claim knowledge that they might not have.
In the study, the higher people rated their own experience in a particular area, the more likely it was that people claimed to know everything about the meaningless terms invented by the researchers.
The finding calls into question the popular idea drawn from Dunning's previous research that the experience invariably leads to a clearer picture of what we know and what we don't know; maybe somehow, as we learn more, our knowledge of what we don't know becomes blurred in the process.
Another particularly interesting finding was that even when participants were warned that some of the statements were false, the "experts" had the same probability as before claiming to know the meaningless statements, while most of the other participants were more likely in this scenario to admit that they had never heard of them.
An astonishing 92% of people claimed to be familiar, for example, with non-existent biological terms such as "meta-toxins", "bio-sexual" and "retroplex". This research does not necessarily challenge the original effect of Dunning-Kruger, but adds the warning that, when it comes to knowing what we do not know, in some specific circumstances the experience can be even more blinding than ignorance itself.