For those engaged in studying flaws in human thinking, this is the best time to gather plenty of case material. The thousands of eager consumers of the pop prognostications of ersatz epidemiologists and economic masterminds present overwhelming evidence of the spread of an affliction known to psychologists as the Dunning-Kruger effect (DKE).
Simply put — as that is the only way to reach out to those displaying symptoms of this cognitive deficiency — it is the inability of people of, let us call it, limited ability to realise the limits of their ability. Researchers David Dunning and Justin Kruger should be thanked for isolating this novel lacuna virus back in 1999 but the question arises why no vaccine, antidote or other remedy has been developed so far for this no-brainer.
As the duo’s findings revealed that just about anyone of any age, education, profession and location is susceptible to this disorder, proper medical and societal remedies should have been developed but were not. So, although the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic needs everyone to understand their limitations, the DKE-afflicted are not only bound to act stupidly due to their lack of knowledge, their cognitive lacuna also prevents them from realising their stupidity, leading to serious consequences. There is need for action to simultaneously combat this bug too.
This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Economic Times.
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