Ignorance Begets Confidence

Darwin said it, Dunning-Kruger proved it.

Folksonomies: psychology experiment aphorism

Ignorance Begets Confidence

It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.


Those who know little are more likely to positively assert things.

Folksonomies: knowledge virtue ignorance

Additional Support/Evidence

Dunning–Kruger effect

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.


People who are unskilled in domains grossly overestimate their abilities compared to those who are skilled.

Folksonomies: knowledge wisdom ignorance