Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Why is it so challenging to assess our own strengths and weaknesses? Why do we need external experts to help us discover our own capabilities? Self-assessment isn’t an easy task, as I mentioned earlier in my introduction: our problem is that we don’t assess our capabilities in the right way. There are several challenges that make self-assessment a difficult task.
One of the more fascinating challenges facing proper self-assessment is the phenomenon of cognitive bias known as "the Dunning – Kruger effect". In the mid-90’s, two social psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, described this phenomenon of deviation from rationality in judgment, which causes inexperienced people to mistakenly assess their strengths and abilities as greater than they actually are. This causes inexperienced people to fall in the trap of illusory superiority, unable to recognize their lack of certain strengths or the immaturity of their experience.
In their 1999 study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” the two psychologists indicate that people tend to fail to recognize their own incompetence and are inclined towards overestimating their abilities.
Any development needs a foundation, and the foundation of self-development is proper self-evaluation.
They also indicate that many people need to go through a learning process just to know that they don’t know! And that training on a task enables people not only to be better at this task, but also enables them to evaluate how good they were at this task before the training takes place.
Want to learn more about proper self-assessment? want to use an objective tool to assess your own capabilities and further understand your strengths and weaknesses? Check my new book "EVALYOUATE! Mastering the Art of Self-Assessment."