The Ebola Engineer Explained

Friday, June 19, 2009
As some of you know, I am involved in a project at my job where I am forced to interact with an individual that I have nick-named "The Ebola Engineer." I call him this because every time I have to speak to him, his stupidity and incompetence make me bleed from every orifice.

The Ebola Engineer, pictured at left.

I've often wondered how people like the Ebola Engineer can not only stay in their jobs, but also believe, with all their hearts, that they are the competent ones in their group, they they are the ones who "save the day" on complex and difficult problems or projects, when the reality is so far removed from their perceptions.

And now I have the answer - the Dunning-Kruger Effect. From the wiki article:
The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which "...people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it." They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average. This leads to a perverse result where people with less competence will rate their ability more highly than people with relatively more competence.
I love science - it explains my world, and gives me a construct to understand that which makes me bleed out of every orifice.

The Ebola Engineer suffers from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Too bad his coach doesn't see it...

3 comments:

Steve Buchheit said...

So now I need to refer to the Republican Party as the DKE Fraternity? Drat.

And yeah, those people tend to make me speechless, because everything that wants to come out would be career-ending for one of us in some spectacular fashion.

neurondoc said...

My loot was perfectly timed, obviously...

Janiece Murphy said...

It was PERFECT.

HAHAHAHAHA!