John Cleese on How “Stupid People Have No Idea How Stupid They Are” (Otherwise Known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect)

Monty Python icon John Cleese had this to say about Marjorie Taylor Greene yesterday: “She is the perfect example of someone who is not intelligent enough to realise that she’s not very intelligent. Hence her enormous self-confidence. Sadly, her supporters are even less intelligent than she is. Hence their confidence in her.” It turns out that, as Cleese further explains in the video above, there’s a scientific term for MTG’s condition–the Dunning–Kruger effect, “a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate” owing to “a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude” (and, by the same token, of “highly skilled individuals to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others”). This condition gets its name from Cornell University researchers Justin Kruger and David Dunning, the latter of whom Cleese–who has spent time at Cornell as a long-term visiting professor–counts as a friend. You can learn more about the Dunning–Kruger effect here.

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