The Dunning Krueger Affect and Why Some of My Posts Went Away

Yes, I deliberately used affect, not effect. You’ll understand why in a minute.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a psychological phenomenon where people who are inexperienced tend to overestimate their expertise.

Here’s a for instance. Let’s say you wanted to recreate the lovely mini quiche Husbeast is holding in the picture below. As a novice cook, you might think quiche is easy. All you have to do is buy some frozen dough, mix a few eggs with some ham and cheese and boom, quiche. However, once you got home and started trying to actually recreate the flavors, you’d find it much harder. You’d realize the crust is handmade with a special kind of butter and salt. You’d figure out how specific you have to be with the ratio of egg to crust to filling. You’d determine the temperature of the ingredients and the moisture content of the air impacts the whole process. The more factors you took into account, the more you’d feel like a novice even though your actual level of expertise rose. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Image description: a man’s hand holds a mini quiche.

The Dunning-Krueger effect impacts my writing. The more I learn about writing, the more I realize I have to learn, and sometimes, the more I feel like a novice. If you’ve been paying a lot of attention, you’ll realize I recently took down some posts. It’s because of the Dunning-Krueger effect. Now that I’m more experienced, I’m realizing my own ignorance. I took down posts which I felt misrepresented my level of expertise. You could say I’m beginning to develop something of a Dunning-Krueger affect with regard to my writing.

Next week, I’m going to discuss imposter syndrome and it’s interplay with my Dunning-Krueger affect, but I’ll skip ahead to the punchline here. Personal growth is hard. It’s a process. It’s steps forward and backward. Thanks for sticking with me through it.

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