The Paradox of the Tone Deaf

From the authors’ concluding remarks:

…people tend to hold overly optimistic and miscalibrated views about themselves. We propose that those with limited knowledge in a domain suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach mistaken conclusions and make regrettable errors, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Although we feel we have done a competent job in making a strong case for this analysis, studying it empirically, and drawing out relevant implications, our thesis leaves us with one haunting worry that we cannot vanquish. That worry is that this article may contain faulty logic, methodological errors, or poor communication. Let us assure our readers that to the extent this article is imperfect, it is not a sin we have committed knowingly.

—Kruger, Justin, and Dunning, David. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, December 1999, Vol. 77, No. 6, 1121-1134.