Humans have a general cognitive bias to be overly optimistic when they have low ability or experience with completing a task, and overly pessimistic when they have high ability or experience with completing a task. This phenomenon is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it was named after the psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who completed a series of studies where participants demonstrated these behaviors. In software development, the Dunning-Kruger effect can surface in situations where members of a team are asked to evaluate the relative effort of one task versus another, which can be challenging under the best of circumstances with knowledge work.
Authored by Philip Rogers
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