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Where are you on Mount Stupid? The Dunning Krueger Effect


Conker
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I've heard of the Dunning-Krueger Effect before, but it wasn't until yesterday when it came up on a youtube video that I really started thinking about it. It's gotten me all in a tizzy because I stress over stupid shit instead of important shit. Since there are a ton of artists here, I figure it would be fun to talk about, though it needn't apply to art but any skill you're involved with or trying to learn.

dunnigkrugereffect1.jpg

The TL/DR of this graph is that what you think you know and what you really know differ wildly. As most people start to learn a skill, their first taste of mastery makes them feel like they're certifiable geniuses, and they overestimate how good they are. The example used in the aforementioned youtube video was learning the guitar. The first song you learn and master is usually a really easy one, but the high from learning a song makes you feel like a rock god. You think you can play anything, and then you get hit with reality: You cannot. You need a ton more practice. You wind up dipping far below what you actually know in this philosophical crash and slowly climbing back up.

The slope up to C is what is called climbing Mount Stupid.

Since it takes years of practice to truly master anything, I figure most people here aren't actually at the expert level yet but somewhere else on the graph. I don't want to make any baseless claims as to where for anyone else, but I'm wondering where I am.

I like to write. I'm on my second novel. An agent is currently looking at my first. I feel like I should be around D or E on that line, but I don't really remember having that big "I suck at this and will never be good no matter what" sky-is-falling shift. I'm worried that it's going to happen soon, as I start to edit my second novel because I know it has some damn problems. I finished thinking they're fixable, but you know, stressing about stupid shit. Though this is less stupid. But stress! Perhaps I'm at the tip of Mount Stupid and don't even know it because it's called Mount Stupid for a reason.

For video game design, I absolutely have to be on Mount Stupid since I fully admit to knowing nothing. There's a reason my bro is doing most of the design work and yelling at me to fix things on a weekly basis. Though I wonder where HE is on the graph...

So ... I forgot what we are calling this place. Uh, so ex FAF, where do you think you fall on that graph? Let's play self reflection!

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I think I've basically gone straight from A to E. What I really want from art isn't to complete [task] it's to accurately express ideas as I imagine them. It's kind of hard to mistakenly think I can do that because I can see just by looking at what I've done that even if it's better than it was, it still isn't anywhere near there.

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I work in the visual effects industry and I think I know enough to know that I'll never know everything, no matter how hard I try.  I guess an E?  Like, I know my theory very well, but it's lots and lots and lots of technique, and I dunno if I'll ever be one of those $120k/year pros ever. @_@

Edited by AshleyAshes
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Last year, I took an exam in Computing, and I definitely felt confident, but it's fair to say I was a point C. I don't know what happened because I did a shit load of practice until I was getting A grades on every practice paper, but in the exam I got a C grade, which, interestingly, was pulled up to an overall B grade by my other Computing exam, which, weirdly, I felt far less confident about.

I think it makes sense that for the first exam I was at point C and for the second exam I was at point E.

I'm retaking that C-grade exam this year, and my skill definitely feels like an E-level. I'm not as confident as I was because I know it could still go wrong.

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You can never stop learning everything about any particular subject. You dont stop learning until you're dead

That said I still suck at things and I dont know if I'll ever feel like an 'expert' in anything. Just gotta keep going and keep practicing. I just wish I had more time to devote to getting better is all...

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I find it kind of ironic that this thread is about people trying to figure out where they are on the graph when the whole point of the Dunning-Krueger effect is that you can't really objectively assess your own amount of knowledge.

It is easy for me to find where I am on the graph. I am at A for everything except walking.

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I find it kind of ironic that this thread is about people trying to figure out where they are on the graph when the whole point of the Dunning-Krueger effect is that you can't really objectively assess your own amount of knowledge.

For sure. But I figure given the amount of self doubt in the world, it might make for an interesting talk, or at least a piece of introspection.

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