- Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
- Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
- Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
- If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
Put another way, this is all about people who are so dumb that they don't know how dumb they are. This reminds me of the story from a guy about his daughter and her singing. As a toddler, she insisted on singing loudly and clearly with nary a clue about how out-of-tune she was and how terrible it was for the ears of her listeners. He described her as unconsciously incompetent. As her days in school went by, she finally began to realise just how much her singing sucked. She was now consciously incompetent. She then started taking lessons and became a good singer. She now knew that she sang well and her listeners were now far better off. She had become consciously competent. After years of practice and performance, she became an artist of sorts. She had finally become unconsciously competent (People like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane who churned out endless runs of complicated yet masterful notes were in the upper crust of this category). The Dunning-Kruger effect seems to describe all individuals, who, for reasons unknown to quantum physicists and zoologists, appear to be atavistically inclined: they are destined to achieve new nadirs in unconscious incompetence.