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May 02, 2017


Luis Enrique

do give it a rest. I am busy trying to develop overconfidence to further my career prospects and you are really busting my vibe.

Steven Clarke

So this is a subset of those cases where individually rational behaviour is collectively irrational.

Eminent emigrant

Worth reading Toby Young's comment/rebuttal at the bottom of that article. Maybe the journalist was over confident :)

What you day here ties in rather scarily with the Dunning-Kruger effect (the name of rich I can never remember!).


Dunning-Kruger is a good framework to look at this (competence is inversely related to self-judgement of competence), as is the Peter Principle (people are promoted to a level one above their ability to perform competently). Theresa May seems to show a combination of both problems.

Ralph Musgrave

Chris says “people deceive themselves in order to better deceive others..”. That’s 90% right. What’s missing is the point that to make a point in as persuasive a way as possible, you must seriously believe in it yourself (even if your intellect is telling you the point is BS).

Actors make that point when they say (apparently) that to act out a part as well as possible, the actor must actually become the character they are acting.

Rick Shapiro

Overconfidence, like tribalism, is a universal trait in humans for clear evolutionary reasons. Accurate internal representation of the world is not the utility function of the brain. The utility function of the brain, like that of every other element of the phenotype, is maximization of descendants. In many circumstances this entails accurate representation of the world; but in others, particularly in social circumstances, it entails internal mis-representation.


Cameron failed over the EU as his overconfidence arose from attributing his successes in life to his personal qualities rather than class privilege. When his con job of trying to circumvent the eurosceptics inside and outside the Tory party came up against the media barons the media won. They told people to vote leave and they did rather than listen to Mr Cameron and his then chancellor. hence showing what happens when members of the committee set up to advance the interests of the ruling class try to buck their paymasters. Cameron got the Saddam Hussein treatment for getting above himself. In his case the slap was mild.

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