Kimmel's Essay 'We Are All Confident Idiots'

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The Great Disillusionment Many studies have been done to prove that those who think they know the most are actually the ones who know the least of all. Most people know, or once knew, of someone who was so arrogant in his or her apparent knowledge about a certain subject. David Dunning addresses this way of thinking in his essay “We Are All Confident Idiots,” in order to expose and educate others on how to be a well educated member of society. The author argues in favor of the Dunning- Kruger effect in order to convince his readers of a phenomenon that reveals how the incompetent are illusioned with a confident and imaginary knowledge, whereas those who are more aware of their “ignorance” are considered more educated. On Jimmy Kimmel’s installment…show more content…
How can this be true when it seems the United States at least, is full of proud patriots, yet desperately try to stand out and take care of themselves as (sometimes selfish) indivisuals? Do we then stand on two axes, as individualists and communitarians? However, when these viewpoints are held, it can warp the perspective, and thus the knowledge of what a person may think he or she possesses. When they hold views such as these, they contradict each other. This can cause a person to seem ignorant or misinformed when in reality, they’re just following what they know to be true, even if it isn’t. These views also affect how the subjects answered a question. In Daniel Kahan’s study in 2006, subjects were asked about their views on nanotechnology. Even though they held limited knowledge on the matter, they still answered the question as though they did. The author writes, “Hierarchical/ individualists found themselves viewing nanotechnology more favorably. Egalitarians/ collectivists took the opposite stance, insisting that nanotechnology has more potential for harm than good.” This example can also help one determine which category they fit under in the anthropological theory depending on which stance they take. The fact that no one in the study felt the need to ask more information about nanotechnology is an example of people only thinking they know a subject. They were confident enough in their answers to take a side on the matter. Kahan took another group and debriefed them on what nanotechnology was before asking them on their thoughts about it. Because of their different views, education didn’t lead the subjects to a shared conclusion, instead bias was reinforced. Even if the professor wrote down a list of pros and cons on a whiteboard and one side clearly overshadowed another, they still

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