The Overconfidence Effect

We all know what overconfidence is, and we all probably know people who are often overconfident, but what it the overconfidence effect?

Essentially it’s where a person’s confidence in themselves is greater than their actual ability. Someone who is extremely confident and extremely able might not be aptly described as overconfident but rather, simply arrogant. Equally, someone who’s faking a high level of confidence might actually suffer no delusions of their abilities, but feel the need to over enlarge them for whatever reason.

Here’s a fun video exampling overconfidence:



The way I like to think about it is like this: no matter how big the horsefly, there’s always a windshield. Things can derail anyone, and believing you’re better at something than you actually are isn’t going to change that; it will only lead you into a situation you thought you could handle but can’t. Confidence is important in whatever we do, but we need to have realistic estimations of ourselves so as to not to undersell or oversell our abilities and skills.

Taking a look at yourself to see if you are or have been overconfident can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to ask someone you can trust to give you an honest opinion. Whilst being confident in yourself is a good thing, by being able to see where we don’t match up to our own standards we’re able to address any problems, fears, or anxieties, and improve ourselves.

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