SkepSun #115 (11_30_2014)

On this week’s Skeptical Sunday we consider how difficult it is to truly ‘know thyself.’  We tend to be terrible at assessing our own skills and expertise. In fact, the less expertise we have at a task, the less we’re able to realize how badly we’re doing at it.  This is called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s also been called the “American Idol Effect” for the contestants who get eliminated in the early rounds of that TV show who are completely convinced they are gifted vocalists, yet sing terribly. In the words of  the Cornell Professor of Psychology for whom the effect is named “If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.” David McRaney on the You Are Not So Smart podcast interviews  Cornell Professor David Dunning and they discuss the research that shows how we often misjudge and miscalculate our own abilities and those of others. But first, on Freethought Radio, FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel relates news about a victory stopping a bible class in Mustang, Oklahoma public schools that was to be sponsored by the president of Hobby Lobby. Then Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker talk with author and researcher Roy Sablosky about his recent article in Social Science Journal entitled “Does Religion Foster Generosity?”  A super-interesting show coming your way, keep it tuned right here.

First Century Memento Mori mosaic from excavations in the convent of San Gregorio, Via Appia, Rome, Italy. The Greek motto gnōthi sauton (know thyself, nosce te ipsum) combines with the image to convey the famous warning: Respice post te; hominem te esse memento; memento mori. (Look behind; remember that you are mortal; remember death.)

First Century Memento Mori mosaic from excavations in the convent of San Gregorio, Via Appia, Rome, Italy. The Greek motto gnōthi sauton (know thyself, nosce te ipsum) combines with the image to convey the famous warning: Respice post te; hominem te esse memento; memento mori. (Look behind; remember that you are mortal; remember death.) (From Wikipedia.)

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