Unskilled and Unaware of It

Unskilled and Unaware of It

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Unskilled and Unaware of It

    I am posting this article for those who believe "I'm carrying a gun, so therefore I'm already ahead of the curve", the "I carry chamber empty because I think it's safer...even though I'm new to guns and don't know much, and never taken a class..." and those who think that they are ninja enough to charge into situations to help people without thinking the situation, or the risks associated with it, through.

    If you don't know that you don't know, and don't accept that you don't know, or that you need to know more, then you and I have nothing more to say.


    Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

    Justin Kruger and David Dunning
    Department of Psychology
    Cornell University

    Abstract
    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.


    It is one of the essential features of such incompetence that the person so afflicted is incapable of knowing that he is incompetent. To have such knowledge would already be to remedy a good portion of the offense. ( Miller, 1993 , p. 4)

    In 1995, McArthur Wheeler walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o'clock news. When police later showed him the surveillance tapes, Mr. Wheeler stared in incredulity. "But I wore the juice," he mumbled. Apparently, Mr. Wheeler was under the impression that rubbing one's face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to videotape cameras ( Fuocco, 1996 ).

    We bring up the unfortunate affairs of Mr. Wheeler to make three points. The first two are noncontroversial. First, in many domains in life, success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. This is true not only for committing crimes, but also for many tasks in the social and intellectual domains, such as promoting effective leadership, raising children, constructing a solid logical argument, or designing a rigorous psychological study. Second, people differ widely in the knowledge and strategies they apply in these domains ( Dunning, Meyerowitz, & Holzberg, 1989 ; Dunning, Perie, & Story, 1991 ; Story & Dunning, 1998 ), with varying levels of success. Some of the knowledge and theories that people apply to their actions are sound and meet with favorable results. Others, like the lemon juice hypothesis of McArthur Wheeler, are imperfect at best and wrong-headed, incompetent, or dysfunctional at worst.

    Perhaps more controversial is the third point, the one that is the focus of this article. We argue that when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine. As Miller (1993) perceptively observed in the quote that opens this article, and as Charles Darwin (1871) sagely noted over a century ago, "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (p. 3).

    In essence, we argue that the skills that engender competence in a particular domain are often the very same skills necessary to evaluate competence in that domain–one's own or anyone else's. Because of this, incompetent individuals lack what cognitive psychologists variously term metacognition ( Everson & Tobias, 1998 ), metamemory ( Klin, Guizman, & Levine, 1997 ), metacomprehension ( Maki, Jonas, & Kallod, 1994 ), or self-monitoring skills ( Chi, Glaser, & Rees, 1982 ). These terms refer to the ability to know how well one is performing, when one is likely to be accurate in judgment, and when one is likely to be in error. For example, consider the ability to write grammatical English. The skills that enable one to construct a grammatical sentence are the same skills necessary to recognize a grammatical sentence, and thus are the same skills necessary to determine if a grammatical mistake has been made. In short, the same knowledge that underlies the ability to produce correct judgment is also the knowledge that underlies the ability to recognize correct judgment. To lack the former is to be deficient in the latter.


    Imperfect Self-Assessments....................................... ...................


    1999 by the American Psychological Association
    For personal use only--not for distribution
    December 1999 Vol. 77, No. 6, 1121-1134
    Justin Kruger and David Dunning
    Department of Psychology - Cornell University

    Continued....
    http://www.superfrink.net/athenaeum/...61121.html#c38

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Hopyard and TSiWRX like this.

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    Interesting stuff even if a very long read. If you ever want several 'come to Jesus' moments in a less than life or death environment, take some training where you get to play with a police simulator.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    Interesting stuff even if a very long read. If you ever want several 'come to Jesus' moments in a less than life or death environment, take some training where you get to play with a police simulator.
    Been their, done that. Got shot, got my partner shot, got the wrong people shot.

    Lil Yankees move and don't stand still...
    Last edited by HotGuns; December 7th, 2011 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Yankee slang language workaround.

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Mitchell,

    I get your point, and feel that there is a tremendous amount to be gained through training. Especially true of the superhero/sheepdog mentality from those who have no training or are semi-self trained.

    You also have to concede that there are many instances where completely untrained people have saved themselves or loved ones with a gun and there has been no negative fallout.

    While you have pressed hard on the training aspect, I have tried to focus on the physical aspects of SD or even defense of others shootings/altercations.

    Time. Adrenaline. Headshots. And how they relate to both the BG and to us while we are in "defense mode." While I'd like to say you're preaching to the choir on DC, that's not the case...

    Many folks here would always have the advantage over the BG no matter what...
    And we have to be honest, that isn't REALITY...
    Even REAL Honest To God Navy SEALS (arguably the best-trained-most-competent-killing-machines on the planet) come home through Dover from time to time...

    But then, someone will say "mindset"... and I just sigh.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I don't disagree with any of the post made so far, or what MitchelCT posted, but I'll add this to the mix. The save yourself and give aid to others mentality lives in most everyone, but to differing levels and degrees. The training sharpens the senses and points out more effective ways to end up on top of a bad situation when it's all said and done, but there will always be the bad-asses out there with little to no training that can and will eat your lunch if given the opportunity. My point, just because you have this training and that training, and know this and that; don't feel like the lone Ranger out there.
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    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    You also have to concede that there are many instances where completely untrained people have saved themselves or loved ones with a gun and there has been no negative fallout.
    Idiots fighting idiots isn't a test of anything except who was the luckier idiot.

    People who want to use that as a baseline are welcome to do so; however, it doesn't make it a smart thing to do.

    Anything can work when the person you are facing isn't very good, and doesn't want to risk a fight to get what they want and doesn't have true, malevolent intent with the mindset to take it in the most efficient manner possible.

    I don't care about the fools.
    I don't care about the unmotivated, opportunistic or the people in it for the thrills.

    I care about the smart, skilled, motivated sociopath who wants what he wants, and sees you as something between him and his goal...and will act in the way that best gets him what he wants, pride, morality and you be dammed.
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Also, beware of complacency.

    Many cops die because they have been "fights" before, have won those fight, and think they can handle whatever comes up...

    Only to find out some time the people they fought before weren't very good, and were more motivated to just struggle and try to get away, than have made the decission "Bacon gotta go..." and don't try to escape - they go for the kill.

    Then they learn the defensive techniques they learned and have used against struggling people who are just flailing about aren't worth much when a 3 strike felon has decided he's going in for life, so he may as well go big.

    "Average people" handling situations "just fine" is a misnomer.

    Just because it worked for other people in the past doesn't mean it will work for you...or for them next time.

    Success can reinforce mistakes. Success is a sweet, lovely toxin that can end up killing you as sure as a knife, if you don't know why you were successful.

    If you don't ask "Why did that work?" in an emotionless, logical manner, you are fooling yourself.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Even REAL Honest To God Navy SEALS (arguably the best-trained-most-competent-killing-machines on the planet) come home through Dover from time to time...
    And they're fighting idiots...

    I'm not going to argue with you for the sake of argument... The majority of crime committed is not by smart, skilled, anything... It's by opportunists. And most professional criminals, the really good ones/the successful ones, are NOT carrying guns...

    Dr. Hannibal Lecter(your "smart, skilled, sociopath") exists... but he's a very rare bird... and in the end, he'll strip your face with his bare teeth.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    So when is the "Citizen's Arrest Training" class?

    rammerjammer likes this.
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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    I cannot agree with your commits and column more.

    Long read but worth it.

    The only thing I’ll say is…

    Thanks God “most” criminals are untrained, and do not have a good place to practice and refine their marksmanship, or situation awareness skills.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I am posting this article for those who believe "I'm carrying a gun, so therefore I'm already ahead of the curve", the "I carry chamber empty because I think it's safer...even though I'm new to guns and don't know much, and never taken a class..." and those who think that they are ninja enough to charge into situations to help people without thinking the situation, or the risks associated with it, through.
    Ugh... Where to even begin here. First of all, this is the type of elitist mentality that causes a lot of people who come to this forum to get angry and leave. Basically the way I interpret your message is this:

    "I am better than you. I am more knowledgeable than you. You are new to this so you can't possibly have anything to contribute. You should bow down before me and listen to what I say and if you ask questions or argue with me, you should leave because I know I'm right and you can't possibly know anything that I don't know."

    The best analogy I can give is my job in the computer industry. I've done everything from programming, I.S. Administration, board and component level engineering, and now I run my own computer business. Yet, I am not arrogant enough to say that I know 100% of everything there is to know about computers. If somebody less experienced wants to argue with me, that is fine. Believe it or not, at times I've been wrong and somebody less experienced than me knew something I didn't. That is what makes me a wise person, because I will always take the time to hear the other side of the story.

    Honestly we cannot expect the average citizen to spend several hours a week going through training to defend themselves. It just isn't going to happen. Yet, here we are on this forum advocating that citizens take up arms to defend themselves, yet some of us on here think that they shouldn't bother unless they plan to become experts. That would be like me telling people that they aren't allowed to use a computer because they haven't invested the time to become computer experts.

    Yes, I believe that on average a regular citizen with a gun is a step ahead of the curve than regular citizens who do not have guns even if they are just barely proficient. Yes, even if they haven't spent 300 hours in tactical simulations.

    It is also presumptuous to think that your needs are the same as everyone else's needs. For example, I use Macs for the most part and generally advocate them when people ask. But I realize a Mac won't work for everyone. Some people need a Windows PC. Well, in the gun world some people need a .22 pistol, others need a .45. Some people need to carry unchambered. Some people need to open carry, and some people need to conceal carry.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    Dr. Hannibal Lecter(your "smart, skilled, sociopath") exists... but he's a very rare bird... and in the end, he'll strip your face with his bare teeth.
    I've met one. I represented him for a custody matter.

    He's utterly charming, physically impressive, dangerously smart and had convictions for various federal crimes, among them murder for hire.

    Anyway...

    Hanibal is a fictional character. Nothing like the real thing.

    Imagine a large, predatory cat in human form, with excellent table manners - but you can tell that while the lights are on, and yes, people are home inside, and active...you aren't a real person to him.

    You are a means to an end. Nothing more.

    Your value is a measured quantity, and how to get it from you is an informed choice he's making, exclusive of your feelings or inate personal value.

    That he is polite to you, respectful and doesn't harm you is because of a cost/benifit & risk/reward analysis.

    Society's rules mean nothing.

    He matters. You do not.

    That is a motivated sociopath, and unless you've sat and talked with one...It's just words you are reading on the internet.

    It's like the difference between watching porn on the TV, and having the woman you love come up behind you to whisper something highly dirty in your ear that ends with "...now!"

    You can't convey it to someone adaquately.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Ugh... Where to even begin here. First of all, this is the type of elitist mentality that causes a lot of people who come to this forum to get angry and leave. Basically the way I interpret your message is this:

    "I am better than you. I am more knowledgeable than you. You are new to this so you can't possibly have anything to contribute. You should bow down before me and listen to what I say and if you ask questions or argue with me, you should leave because I know I'm right and you can't possibly know anything that I don't know."
    Some people don't have a clue. They think they do, but they don't.

    They are arrogant about their ignorance, and seek not to learn, but to wallow around in, spread it around and drag people down to their level rather than raise themselves up.

    I don't like it, and I call it when I see it.

    I don't care if people argue with me, and I don't mind being wrong - but...if you are going to have an opinion, have some intelectual honesty in how you formed that opinion.

    If the basis of your reasoning is "I think..." and you have neither training, experience, nor can cite any texts on the subject to support your ideas...

    Consider the posibility you don't have a clue.

    The main context of the post above is the fact that people who are unskilled tend to have an overly favorable view of their own skills, because they have no context for adaquately measuring them.

    Someone can think they shoot well - till they do the IDPA classifier and find out they suck.
    Someone can think they are a good fighter - till they put on safety gear, get into a ring, and find out they aren't ninja.
    Someone can believe they are fit - till they look at a basic PT requirements for a police department application, try them out...and find out the mile and a half in 12 minutes is not doable for them.

    If someone doesn't have an accurate, objective measure of that person's skills...they tend to overestimate them.

    Overconfidence, especially unmerited overconfidence, is a very dangerous thing.

    People make decissions to act or not act based on, among other things, risk assessment.

    Risk assessment is a function of reading the situation, and determining if you have the ability to act effectively and safely.

    People can't accurately risk assess if they don't know their abilities & limits.

    If you can't accurately self evaluate, your entire situational evaluation is flawed.

    Flawed situational evaluation can translate into unreasonable actions.

    Unreasonable actions in use of force situations are criminal.

    Everyone's entitled to their own opinion...right?

    Just like I'm entitled to the opinion of the uninformed, so to they are entitled to mine...well, mine and the authors cited above...
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    I've met one. I represented him for a custody matter.

    He's utterly charming, physically impressive, dangerously smart and had convictions for various federal crimes, among them murder for hire.

    Anyway...

    Hanibal is a fictional character. Nothing like the real thing.

    Imagine a large, predatory cat in human form, with excellent table manners - but you can tell that while the lights are on, and yes, people are home inside, and active...you aren't a real person to him.

    You are a means to an end. Nothing more.

    Your value is a measured quantity, and how to get it from you is an informed choice he's making, exclusive of your feelings or inate personal value.

    That he is polite to you, respectful and doesn't harm you is because of a cost/benifit & risk/reward analysis.

    Society's rules mean nothing.

    He matters. You do not.


    That is a motivated sociopath, and unless you've sat and talked with one...It's just words you are reading on the internet.

    It's like the difference between watching porn on the TV, and having the woman you love come up behind you to whisper something highly dirty in your ear that ends with "...now!"

    You can't convey it to someone adaquately.

    With all due respect intended Mitchel.... Let this glorified idiot that you speak so highly of show up at my door, or I dare say quite a few others on this forum and try his, "I matter and you don't" philosophy and he'll most likely end up on a stretcher and being wheeled away to the county coroner's office... Some of us out here grew up on the hard side of town and we aren't so smitten by the bad attitudes that prowl our lands, basically we've seen um before. Bottom line is, he's just a man and not a Superman at that. I agree train when you can and make good practice of it whenever possible, but know that there's many a "Cat Man" sitting behind bars or even toes up by the hands for plenty a armed citizen, and I'm sure they'll be plenty more.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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