Wednesday, August 5, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: Viral Overconfidence

CURMUDGUCATION: Viral Overconfidence

Viral Overconfidence

Well, this is an interesting piece of research.

A new paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that overconfidence can be transmitted socially, that being around overconfident people rubs off on other folks.

As with most psycho-social research, the experimental designs leave room for considerable debate, and there are plenty of needles to thread. I find it interesting that the transmission only appears to occur within people in your own tribe.

The research reminds me of a not-uncommon phenomenon in the world of student performance-- the group founded and led by somebody who's not very qualified, but who is absolutely confident in their awesomeness, and the group itself is filled with students who are vocal in their belief that Beloved Leader is awesome and the group itself is also awesome. These kinds of groups are aided and abetted by an entire industry of "competitions" that let them earn medals and awards.

The power of overconfidence is under-discussed in education, probably because the problems of confidence gaps loom so much larger in classrooms. But the effects are similar. A student who lacks confidence will not try, because not trying is the only tactic they believe they have for avoiding CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Viral Overconfidence