A Trap For Know-It-Alls

You must know people who claim to know more than they know; we all do. It seems that the more people THINK they know dreamstimefree_4811368.jpg denialabout a topic, the more likely they are to think they know even more (often false facts).

Here is the study… 100 people were given a general knowledge test about personal finance. In the test, there was a list of financial terms, some of which were fake. The people who considered themselves expert in the field of personal finance were more likely to say that they knew the fake terms. In the second study, subjects were told that some terms were fake and the “experts” still overestimated their knowledge. The third study used biological terms and found the same thing – biology “experts” fell for fake terms. My favorite was the fourth study that used geographical places and STILL there were people, the experts, who claimed to know the fake towns.

The more people know, the more likely they are to over-claim false knowledge.

Source: Atir et al in Psychological Science, July 14, 2015.

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