"Findings suggest that people are too confident in what they know and underestimate what they don't know."
To scientists, it's known as "Overprecision" -- having to much confidence in the correctness of what we think we know combined with a tendency to discount or downplay what we don't know, i.e., doubting a statement or fact that differs from what we think we know, even when back by solid supporting evidence.
Overprecision can have profound consequences, for example, inflating investors' valuation of their investments, leading physicians to gravitate too quickly to a diagnosis, even making people intolerant of dissenting views.
This is a message to any professional, especially writers and bloggers such as myself, not to get too certain that what we write is right. It's also a message to readers to not believe everything we read, and to require documentation for statements made. I am personally guilty of overconfidence, and have to constantly remind myself that I may well be wrong, and to be open to the opinions and beliefs of others.
Easily said, hard in practice.
Research by Albert Mannes of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Don Moore of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, published in the current issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveals that the more confident participants were about their estimates of an uncertain quantity, the less they adjusted their estimates in response to feedback about their accuracy and to the costs of being wrong.
"The findings suggest that people are too confident in what they know and underestimate what they don't know," says Mannes.
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Story Source: A. E. Mannes, D. A. Moore. A Behavioral Demonstration of Overconfidence in Judgment. Psychological Science, 2013.