Overconfidence: We Aren’t as Good as We Think

Human are fallible creatures. We make mistakes and more often than not we aren’t able to realize it when we make one. One of the sources of such times is the bias from overconfidence. When we experience overconfidence, we overestimate our knowledge or our skills when in reality those confidences are baseless.

Don A. Moore, a psychologist from Psychology Today, thinks that this bias is the mother of biases because of two reasons. Firstly, it is so widespread and common that 93% of American drivers claim to be better than the median, which is virtually impossible [1]. The second reason is that it is the root of many other biases. If we didn’t realize that we are vulnerable to psychological biases, this will make us prone to many other biases. Disproportionate confidence in ourselves, either it is in terms of knowledge, skills, or judgement, will make us ignore that vulnerability. Hence, it triggers and amplifies other biases.

There is an interesting book written by Peter Bevelin entitled “Seeking Wisdom”. This book mentions about overconfidence:

“Most of us believe we are better performers, more honest and intelligent, have a better future, have a happier marriage, are less vulnerable than the average person, etc. But we can’t all be better than average.”

Knowing our tendency to be overconfident, what can we do to prevent this bias to ruin our lives? Charlie Munger says that we should train and habituate our thinking into using simple high school probability more often. Moreover, Peter Bevelin reminds us that in every situation we should focus on what can go wrong and the consequences. Finally, to always be skeptical is also great to prevent ourselves to be trapped by the cloud of overconfidence and over-optimism.

[1] Ola Svenson, ‘Are We Less Risky and More Skillful than Our Fellow Drivers?’, Acta Psychologica, 47 (1981), 143–51.

27 thoughts on “Overconfidence: We Aren’t as Good as We Think

  1. I just want to tell you that I’m beginner to weblog and honestly savored you’re blog site. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have perfect stories. Thank you for sharing with us your web site.

  2. I just couldn’t leave your site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person supply to your guests? Is going to be again often in order to check up on new posts.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations shared on your own blog. Yet another thing I would like to say is that fat loss is not about going on a dietary fads and trying to reduce as much weight as you’re able in a few days. The most effective way to shed weight is by using it slowly but surely and using some basic ideas which can enable you to make the most from your attempt to shed pounds. You may know and already be following a few of these tips, however reinforcing understanding never affects.

  4. Hiya! I was admiring your website for the first time during lunch and wanted to say I had fun reading it. I thought I’d share my website too. You can learn about past life regression there. Check it out if you’re interested. Thanks!!

  5. Nice post. I be taught something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It should always be stimulating to learn content from different writers and practice a little bit something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for another informative site. The place else could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I’m just now running on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

  7. I haven’t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  8. I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  9. My wife and i felt so glad when Raymond could round up his analysis from your ideas he received in your web site. It’s not at all simplistic to just choose to be offering guides which the others might have been trying to sell. We consider we have got the website owner to appreciate because of that. The specific explanations you made, the easy web site navigation, the friendships you give support to instill – it’s many exceptional, and it is facilitating our son in addition to our family imagine that the issue is pleasurable, which is exceedingly serious. Thank you for all!

  10. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  11. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Many thanks

  12. I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  13. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  14. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity for your submit is just great and that i could suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thank you a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  15. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  16. It’s laborious to find knowledgeable individuals on this topic, however you sound like you recognize what you’re talking about! Thanks

  17. Hello very cool blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally…I’m glad to find so many useful information here in the publish, we’d like develop more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  18. Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get something done.

  19. Terrific work! That is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Disgrace on Google for no longer positioning this post higher! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thank you =)

  20. whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you can help them greatly.

Leave a Reply