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The Long and Winding Road to Knowing Thyself: Why Accurate Self-Knowledge is So Difficult to Achieve


Monday April 17, 2017: 7:00pm to 8:30pm


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room


“Know thyself!” exhorted the ancient Greeks, but it turns out that accurate self-understanding is difficult to gain, particularly when it comes to evaluating our knowledge and expertise.

David Dunning, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and Faculty Affiliate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute of Social Research, will discuss recent research showing common biases people display when judging their skill and know-how, and the costs (and occasional benefits) of those biases. He will also describe best practices to potentially avoid them.
It all boils down to following this old, wise admonishment: When arguing with a fool, just make sure that the other person is not likewise engaged.

Professor Dunning also taught for several years at Cornell University, where he is Professor Emeritus. An author, co-author, or co-editor of nearly 150 journal articles, book chapters, commentaries, and reviews, he has served as president of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for the Study of Motivation. He received the 2016 Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Society for Self and Identity.

His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Templeton Foundation, as well as featured in more popular outlets as diverse as the New York Times, This American Life, and Doonesbury.

This talk is part of the "Exploring the Mind" series and is cosponsored by the University of Michigan Department of Psychology.

This event will be recorded