Is the Dunning-Kruger Effect an Explanation for Why the Ignorant Are Blissful?

I recently stumbled upon the Dunning-Kruger effect on Wikipedia. Essentially, this is a cognitive bias where unskilled people rate themselves much higher than their ability and skilled people rate themselves lower than their ability. The ignorant are blissful and the informed are self-deprecating—how interesting! I’m not sure this cognitive bias explains “ignorance is bliss,” but it certainly helps me understand some people better and helps to remove self-doubt. Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia article:

It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. “Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”[1] “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” –Bertrand Russell

So, if you’re feeling like you could do a better job, you may be doing a positively fantastic job already—give yourself credit. But beware, for if you think you’re doing a swell job, you might just be overly confident ;–) (On a related, yet confusing, note, depression may be a survival tool so maybe you should be glad for Dunning-Kruger.)