Why Some People Don’t Know They Are Incompetent
JUL. 22, 2020
Brian Foden
目錄 / Words for Reference / Practical Phrases / Words in Use / More to Learn / Grammar Tips / 中文翻譯與答案


 You have most likely met someone suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, perhaps at a social gathering, at school, or at the workplace. This person believes he or she has an exceptional ability in or understanding of a subject when in reality, they don’t. Some might call these people “liars,” but such individuals can’t really be described that way if they truly believe in their knowledge or abilities. Others might label them as “idiots,” but, in fact, they might not have a low IQ. Thanks to two Cornell University professors named David Dunning and Justin Kruger, we can more appropriately say that incompetent people who greatly overestimate their ability or knowledge are experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect.


 Dunning and Kruger studied this phenomenon and published their results in 1999. The social psychologists asked subjects to answer questions related to grammar, logic, and humor, and asked them to rate their own performance. The researchers discovered that many of those who performed the worst on the examinations estimated they had done well. One of the most interesting conclusions Dunning and Kruger reached was that some people who were incompetent also lacked the ability to realize it.

 The researchers offered reasons for the cause of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Obviously, people who are bad at something lack the necessary skills to be competent. Dunning and Kruger concluded that, without those important skills, they also don’t realize they are incompetent in a particular area. Moreover, the psychologists said, people who experience this phenomenon are poor at objectively judging their own abilities. That is, they can’t stand back and evaluate themselves as others might. While it’s tempting to believe only fools fall into the trap of the Dunning-Kruger effect, no one is immune.

1.    Who is suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, according to the passage?
(A)    Mike, whose test scores are often poor but who wants to improve.
(B)    Hannah, who is a pretty good singer but thinks she isn’t.
(C)    Jake, who believes he is a great golfer but is awful at the sport.
(D)    Beth, who is always worried that she will make a mistake.

2.    According to the passage, why shouldn’t someone experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect be called an idiot?
(A)    It is insulting to call someone an idiot.
(B)    The term “idiot” is not a scientific explanation.
(C)    Idiots are too stupid to know about the Dunning-Kruger effect.
(D)    A Dunning-Kruger effect sufferer might be of normal intelligence.

3.    Which of the following topics were participants NOT asked about in Dunning and Kruger’s study?
(A)    Analytical questions.
(B)    Questions about word usage.
(C)    Psychological questions.
(D)    Questions about what is funny.

4.    What does the last sentence of the passage imply?
(A)    The Dunning-Kruger effect can affect almost any person.
(B)    Very few people suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect.
(C)    Those believing in the Dunning-Kruger effect are foolish.
(D)    Experts don’t agree on the Dunning-Kruger effect.

「新朋友獨享~3個月打造英語耳」樂讀方案,小量訂閱常春藤解析英語雜誌 3 期>>



Words for Reference

    incompetent  a. 無能的;不能勝任的
     competent  a. 有能力的;能勝任的
    idiot  n. 傻瓜
    IQ  智商(= intelligence quotient )
    psychologist  n. 心理學家
     psychological  a. 心理(學)的
    logic  n. 邏輯
    participant  n. 參加者,參與者
    analytical  a. 分析的,解析的
    usage  n.(語言的)用法


Practical Phrases
  1.     suffer from...  受……之苦;罹患……(疾病)
    • People in that town suffer from a high rate of cancer.
  2.     in reality =    in fact 事實上,實際上
    • The idea of moving out seems easy, but in reality it may be very difficult.
  3.     believe in...  相信……(的存在) 
    • Michelle doesn’t believe in Santa Claus.
  4.     label A as B  將 A 貼上 B 的標籤;將 A 稱為∕歸類為 B      
    • The press labeled the politician as a liar.
    • label  vt. 貼標籤;把……稱為
  5.     be related to...  與……有關
    • The police suspected that the crime was related to the drug trade.
  6.     that is =    that is to say =    in other words 也就是說,換句話說
    • Donnie is coming to pick you up at 7:00 p.m.; that is, be ready by then.
  7.     stand / step back  退一步;從某種情勢抽身以便冷靜思考
    • Maurice tried to stand back to think about this complicated situation.
  8.     fall into the trap of N/V-ing  落入……的陷阱;犯……(常見或容易犯的)錯誤
    • Lance fell into the trap of thinking money is all that matters.
  9.     agree on...  對……意見一致
    • The couple fought because they couldn’t agree on which car to buy.
  • agree with sb on / over sth  在某事上同意某人
    • I’m afraid I don’t agree with you on this issue.


Words in Use
  1.     gathering  n. 聚會
    • There will be a small gathering tonight at John’s house to celebrate his retirement.
  2.     exceptional  a. 非凡的,卓越的
    • The guitarist was called Guitar Jesus because of his exceptional skill.
  3.     appropriately  adv. 適當地
    • You should have behaved more appropriately at the party last night.
  4.     overestimate  vt. 高估
    • estimate  vt. 估算;估計
    • I overestimated how many people would come to the play.
  5.     phenomenon  n. 現象(單數形)
    • phenomena  n. 現象(複數形)
    • TV violence is not a new phenomenon in today’s world.
  6.     rate  vt. 評估,評價
    • The film was rated as a masterpiece by critics.
  7.     conclusion  n. 結論
    • draw / reach / come to a conclusion  得到結論
    • The committee came to the conclusion that the plan was not feasible.
    • conclude  vt. 推斷出;斷定
    • After looking at all the evidence, we can conclude that James is not guilty of the crime.
  8.     objectively  adv. 客觀地
    • Objectively speaking, Duke can’t possibly succeed if he doesn’t work harder.
  9.     evaluate  vt. 評估,評價
    • We cannot make a final decision until the manager has evaluated the situation.
  10.     tempting  a. 令人忍不住的;誘人的
    • It is a very tempting job offer, but I’m not sure if I will accept.
  11.     immune  a. 不受影響的;有免疫力的(其後常與介詞 to 並用)
    • The press criticized the singer so often that in the end he became immune to their judgments.
  12.    insulting  a. 侮辱的
    • Mary was angry with her son for saying something insulting to her.


More to Learn

be of intelligence  有智力的;聰明的,有才智的
intelligence  n. 智力

  • Jane Austen is an author of great intelligence and wit.


「be of + 某些抽象名詞」就等於意思相對應的形容詞,或是具有相對應的特質,以下介紹常見的用法:

  1.     be of (great) importance / significance (很)重要的
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​be (very) important / significant
    • It is of great importance that you exercise your right to vote in the election.
    • The discovery was of great significance to the economy.
  2.     be of (great) value =    be (very) valuable (很)有價值的
    • That stamp is of great value because it’s very rare.
  3.     be of (great) help =    be (very) helpful (很)有幫助的
    • ​​​​​​​You have been of great help to me over the past 10 years.
  4.     be of (great) use / no use =    be (very) useful / useless (很)有用的∕毫無用處
    • ​​​​​​​I thought that Ted’s advice was of great use.
    • It is of no use to reason with such a stubborn man.
  5.     be of high / poor quality  高∕低品質的
    • Expensive things are not necessarily better. Likewise, cheap things are not necessarily of poor quality.


Grammar Tips

While it’s tempting to believe only fools fall into the trap of the Dunning-Kruger effect, no one is immune.

介紹 while 作連接詞時的三種重要用法:

  • 表「雖然」,此時 while 為副詞連接詞,等於 though 或 although,其引導的副詞子句通常置於句首,其後加逗點,再接主要子句(本文即屬此用法)。
    • While Peter doesn’t like horror movies, he went to see It with his girlfriend anyway.
  • 表「(然)而」,此時 while 為對等連接詞,其引導的主要子句通常置於另一主要子句之後,前方加逗點,即等於 but 或 whereas,但 whereas 引導的子句可置於另一個主要子句之前或之後。
    • My sister likes to go surfing, while I prefer to sunbathe on the beach.
    • I had a bagel for breakfast, whereas Lisa had just a cup of coffee.
      = Whereas Lisa had just a cup of coffee for breakfast, I had a bagel.

  • 表「當……時」
    1. ​​​​​​​此時 while 為副詞連接詞,通常用來表示持續的動作或狀態,其引導的副詞子句可置於主要子句之前或之後,表示「A 動作在進行時,B 動作亦在進行」。
    • ​​​​​​​Kevin sent me a message while I was taking a nap.
    1. ​​​​​​​在 while 引導的副詞子句中,若主詞與主要子句的主詞相同,此副詞子句的主詞可以刪除,之後的動詞就得改成現在分詞,但如果該動詞是 be 動詞,通常會省略。
    • ​​​​​​​While (she is) in Paris, Emily will pay a visit to the Louvre Museum.





  鄧寧和克魯格研究了這種現象,並在 1999 年發表他們的研究結果。這兩位社會心理學家要求受試者回答關於文法、邏輯和幽默的問題,並要求他們評估自己的表現。這兩位研究人員發現,許多受試表現最差的人會評估自己答得很好。鄧寧和克魯格得到最有趣的結論之一就是,有些能力不足的人也缺乏認清這個事實的能力。


1.    根據本文,下列何人正受到達克效應的影響?
(A)    麥克:考試成績經常很差,但有想要進步。
(B)    漢娜:很會唱歌,卻覺得自己唱得不好。
(C)    傑克:自以為很會打高爾夫球,但在該運動的表現極差。
(D)    貝絲:總是擔心自己會犯錯。

2.    根據本文,受到達克效應影響的人為何不該被叫做傻瓜?
(A)    叫人傻瓜很侮辱人。
(B)    「傻瓜」一詞不是科學性的說明。
(C)    傻瓜蠢到不懂達克效應是什麼。
(D)    受到達克效應影響的人智力或許很正常。

3.    鄧寧和克魯格研究的參與者沒被問到下列哪一種主題?
(A)    分析問題。
(B)    關於詞彙用法的問題。
(C)    心理問題。
(D)    關於什麼是有趣的問題。

4.    本文最後一句暗示什麼?
(A)    幾乎任何人都有可能受到達克效應的影響。
(B)    很少人受達克效應所苦。
(C)    那些相信達克效應的人很傻。
(D)    專家對達克效應沒有共識。

答案:    1.    C    2.    D    3.    C    4.    A


點我訂閱回家看 >>