Justin Kruger's research while affiliated with University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and other places

Publications (47)

Article
Previous work on the Dunning–Kruger effect has shown that poor performers often show little insight into the shortcomings in their performance, presumably because they suffer a double curse. Deficits in their knowledge prevent them from both producing correct responses and recognizing that the responses they produce are inferior to those produced b...
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People often hold inflated views of their performance on intellectual tasks, with poor performers exhibiting the most inflation. What leads to such excessive confidence? We suggest that the more people approach such tasks in a "rational" (i.e., consistent, algorithmic) manner, relative to those who use more variable or ad hoc approaches, the more c...
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Consumers often choose how quickly to consume things they enjoy. The research presented here demonstrates that they tend to consume too rapidly, growing tired of initially well-liked stimuli such as a favorite snack (experiments 1 and 4) or an enjoyable video game (experiments 2 and 3) more quickly than they would if they slowed consumption. The re...
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People commonly believe they have contributed more to collaborative tasks than others give them credit for. We distinguish between two types of contributions – additions (such as adding words to a co-authored paper) and deletions (such as removing extraneous words) – and show that individuals are especially prone to receive less credit from others...
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Is variety of the spice of life? The present research suggests that the answer depends on the rate of consumption. In three experiments, we find that, whereas a variety of stimuli is preferred to repetition of even a better-liked single stimulus when consumption is continuous, this preference reverses when the satiation associated with repetition i...
Article
Consumers frequently consume items to the point where they no longer enjoy them. In a pilot study and two experiments spanning three distinct classes of stimuli, we find that people can recover from this satiation by simply recalling the variety of alternative items they have consumed in the past. And yet, people seem to exhibit "variety amnesia" i...
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We question a central premise upon which the target article is based. Namely, we point out that the evidence for "positive illusions" is in fact quite mixed. As such, the question of whether positive illusions are adaptive from an evolutionary standpoint may be premature in light of the fact that their very existence may be an illusion.
Article
Individuals are frequently forced to make decisions from among undesirable choice-sets. Raise taxes or cut social services? Lay off workers or go bankrupt? Go deep in debt or forgo a college education? The research presented here suggests that in such situations, decision-makers are often evaluated negatively regardless of the choice they make. In...
Article
Prior research has found that people tend to overestimate their relative contribution to joint tasks [e.g., Ross, M., & Sicoly, F. (1979). Egocentric biases in availability and attribution. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 322-336]. The present research investigates one source of this bias, and in doing so, identifies an important...
Article
People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs th...
Article
Prior work has found that when people compare themselves with others they egocentrically focus on their own strengths and achievements more than on the (equally relevant) strengths and achievements of the comparison group. As a consequence, people tend to overestimate their comparative standing when absolute standing is high and underestimate their...
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People are typically overly optimistic when evaluating the quality of their performance on social and intellectual tasks. In particular, poor performers grossly overestimate their performances because their incompetence deprives them of the skills needed to recognize their deficits. Five studies demonstrated that poor performers lack insight into t...
Article
The present research investigated consumers' intuitions about percent differences. We found that the perceived difference between two quantities compared on a percent scale varies as a function of the target of the comparison. The subjective price difference between a $1500 and a $1000 moped, for instance, increased when the former was described as...
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The present research demonstrates that symbolic boundaries such as political borders act as psychological buffers. Across six experiments (N = 583) we demonstrate that consumers prefer to avoid crossing a town border to reach a store (experiments 1 and 2), even when no visual cues are provided (experiment 3). Furthermore, consumers feel safer when...
Article
Self-image motives and "sacrosanct beliefs" are powerful motivators of consumer judgment and decision making. The sacrosanct belief that one is rational, for instance, can cause consumers to justify seemingly unwise economic decisions. This article outlines some of the occasions when self-image motives appear to fail. For instance, although consume...
Article
Self‐image motives and “sacrosanct beliefs” are powerful motivators of consumer judgment and decision making. The sacrosanct belief that one is rational, for instance, can cause consumers to justify seemingly unwise economic decisions. This article outlines some of the occasions when self‐image motives appear to fail. For instance, although consume...
Article
People tend to overestimate their contribution to joint tasks, in part because their own contributions are more memorable than the contributions of their collaborators. We examined some of the interpersonal consequences of this bias. Participants engaged in either a hypothetical (Experiment 2) or real (Experiment 1) cooperative task and learned how...
Article
Prior work has found that people occasionally seek useless information, a violation of strict rationality. The present work examined whether and why curiosity can also cause individuals to seek predictably harmful information. In four studies, participants were given the opportunity to gain knowledge of questionable personal value. In each case, pa...
Article
There is disagreement in the psychological literature over whether researchers should report one- or two-tailed tests of significance. The present research asks a slightly different question: Which approach is more compelling to research consumers? In three between-subject experiments, advanced psychology undergraduates (Experiment 1), psychology P...
Article
People are often motivated to be entertaining. Past work has shown that those given entertainment goals tell stories differently than those given accuracy goals (e.g. Dudukovic, Marsh, & Tversky, 2004). In three studies we investigate the influence of the motive to entertain on story distortion. In each study, we found that the motive to entertain...
Article
The hindsight bias is an inability to disregard known outcome information when estimating earlier likelihoods of that outcome. The propensity effect, a reversal of this hindsight bias, is apparently unique to judgments involving momentum and trajectory (in which there is a strongly implied propensity toward a specific outcome). In the present study...
Article
Teasing is ambiguous. Although the literal content of a tease is, by definition, negative, seldom do teasers intend for their tease to be taken literally. Toward this aim, teasers often attempt to mitigate the negative surface content of the tease by communicating via gesture, facial expression, or tone of voice that they are "just kidding." The re...
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Prior research has found that people tend to overestimate their relative contributions to joint tasks (e.g., Ross & Sicoly, 1979). In the present research we investigate one of the causes of this bias, and in doing so, identify an important moderator of the effect. In three studies we demonstrate that when people estimate their relative contributio...
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Without the benefit of paralinguistic cues such as gesture, emphasis, and intonation, it can be difficult to convey emotion and tone over electronic mail (e-mail). Five experiments suggest that this limitation is often underappreciated, such that people tend to believe that they can communicate over e-mail more effectively than they actually can. S...
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People form impressions of others by communicating with them, but not all modes of communication transmit information with equal fidelity. E-mail, for instance, is an inherently more limited mode of communication than is voice because of its relative lack of paralinguistic and non-verbal cues. The present research investigated the implication of th...
Article
Most people believe that they should avoid changing their answer when taking multiple-choice tests. Virtually all research on this topic, however, has suggested that this strategy is ill-founded: Most answer changes are from incorrect to correct, and people who change their answers usually improve their test scores. Why do people believe in this st...
Article
People tend to underestimate how long it will take to complete tasks. We suggest that one reason people commit this planning fallacy is that they do not naturally “unpack” multifaceted tasks (e.g., writing a manuscript) into subcomponents (completing the literature review, general discussion, references section, etc.) when making predictions. We te...
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People tend to overestimate their comparative likelihood of experiencing a rosy future. The present research suggests that one reason for this error is that when people compare their likelihood of experiencing an event with that of the average person, they focus on their own chances of experiencing the event and insufficiently consider the likeliho...
Article
Krueger & Funder (K&F) make the familiar accusation that social psychologists focus too much on what people do wrong, rather than on what they do right. Although there is some truth to their charge, their accusations are overstated and their conclusions are incorrect. The field is far less problem-focused than they suggest, and the proposed consequ...
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Actions and intentions do not always align. Individuals often have good intentions that they fail to fulfill. The studies presented here suggest that actors and observers differ in the weight they assign to intentions when deciding whether an individual possesses a desirable trait. Participants were more likely to give themselves credit for their i...
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The research presented here suggests that effort is used as a heuristic for quality. Participants rating a poem (Experiment 1), a painting (Experiment 2), or a suit of armor (Experiment 3) provided higher ratings of quality, value, and liking for the work the more time and effort they thought it took to produce. Experiment 3 showed that the use of...
Article
When individuals choose future activities on the basis of their past experiences, what guides those choices? The present study compared students' predicted, on-line, and remembered spring-break experiences, as well as the influence of these factors on students' desire to take a similar vacation in the future. Predicted and remembered experiences we...
Article
Six experiments investigated people's optimism in competitions. The studies involved hypothetical and real competitions (course grades in Experiments 1 and 2, a trivia game in Experiments 3-5, and a poker game in Experiment 6) in which the presence of shared adversities and benefits (factors that would generally hinder or help the absolute performa...
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Successful negotiation of everyday life would seem to require people to possess insight about deficiencies in their intellectual and social skills. However, people tend to be blissfully unaware of their incompetence. This lack of awareness arises because poor performers are doubly cursed: Their lack of skill deprives them not only of the ability to...
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Full-text available
J. Kruger and D. Dunning (1999) argued that the unskilled suffer a dual burden: Not only do they perform poorly, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. J. Krueger and R. A. Mueller (2002) replicated these basic findings but interpreted them differently. They concluded that a combination of the better-than-avera...
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Three studies examined people's estimates of the perceived variability of their appearance and behavior in the eyes of others. Whether assessing the manifest variability of their physical appearance (Studies 1a, 1b, and 1c), their athletic accomplishments (Study 2), or their performance on a popular videogame (Study 3), participants consistently ov...
Article
J. Kruger and D. Dunning (1999) argued that the unskilled suffer a dual burden: Not only do they perform poorly, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. J. Krueger and R. A. Mueller (2002) replicated these basic findings but interpreted them differently. They concluded that a combination of the better-than-avera...
Article
People, it is hypothesized, show an asymmetry in assessing their own interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge relative to that of their peers. Six studies suggested that people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them. Several of the studies explored sources of this perceived asymmetry, especially the convi...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs th...
Article
Like the inhabitants of Garrison Keillor's (1985) fictional community of Lake Wobegon, most people appear to believe that their skills and abilities are above average. A series of studies illustrates one of the reasons why: when people compare themselves with their peers, they focus egocentrically on their own skills and insufficiently take into ac...
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Full-text available
Evidence from several lab and field studies is presented that indicates that people have cynical intuitions about how others assess responsibility. Married couples (Study 1), video game enthusiasts (Study 2), debaters (Study 3), and darts players (Study 4) divided responsibility for a series of desirable and undesirable joint outcomes and anticipat...

Citations

... In a famous paper, Kruger and Dunning (1999) attribute differences in monitoring effectiveness to differences in competence (see also, Lichtenstein & Fischhoff, 1977). Weaker performers tend to overestimate their capabilities on a number of tasks from emotional intelligence (Sheldon et al., 2014) to skeet shooting (Ehrlinger et al., 2008), whereas stronger performers correctly assess (or even underestimate) their capabilities (see Dunning, 2011 for a full review). These researchers argue that weaker performers are doubly disadvantaged: not only do they lack the skills necessary to perform the task, but these same skills are crucial to monitoring performance. ...
... " People overestimate their likelihood of beating a competitor when the contest is simple (such as a trivia contest involving easy categories), but underestimate those odds when it is difficult (such as a trivia contest involving difficult categories;Moore & Kim 2003;Windschitl et al. 2003). Roommates overestimate their relative contribution to tasks involving frequent contributions like cleaning the dishes, but underestimate their relative contribution to tasks involving infrequent contributions like cleaning the oven (Kruger & Savitsky 2009). And preliminary work suggests that although people overestimate their degree of control over that which can be controlled easily, they underestimate their degree of control of what cannot (Kruger, unpublished data). ...
... The self is a habitual starting point in many of life's important judgments (Chambers et al., 2003; Kruger, 1999; Ross & Sicoly, 1979). Whether it is because people simply know more about themselves than others (Moore & Cain, 2007; Moore & Small, 2007) and are more confident of what they know about themselves (Kruger, Windschitl, Burrus, Fessel, & Chambers, 2008), or because self-knowledge comes to mind more easily, rapidly, and efficiently than other knowledge (Chambers & Windschitl, 2004; Chan, Chambers, & Kruger, 2013; Radzevick & Moore, 2013), the self looms large in judgments that require people to take others into consideration, resulting in predictable judgment errors. People are thus " egocentric " thinkers, having considerable difficulty casting aside their own unique perspective when attempting to take the perspective of another. ...
... Similarly, behavioral pricing research indicates that for an item initially priced at (MXN) $480, consumers prefer a $120 discount over an economically equivalent 25% discount (González et al. 2016), likely because the number "120" is greater than the number "25". Similar findings emerge when examining between-product comparisons (in attribute domains like warranty length, processing speed, memory, screen size and price comparisons; Kruger and Vargas 2008) and in work that compares price promotions versus bonus packs (Chen et al. 2012;Mohan, Chandon and Riis 2015). These findings originate in different literatures, yet the effects described are consistent and convergent. ...
... A categorization fallacy also applies to allegedly 'unpleasant' activities, such as the self-administration of painful shocks, which could be attractive, despite generating unpleasant sensations, because it could still a particular human need (e.g., curiosity). It is well-documented that people often strive to resolve ambiguities even if it is risky and without apparent instrumental benefit 8,24,25 . People are curious about high intensity negative information, being fascinated by media coverages of intense violence or by horror movies 7,26 , and neuroimaging studies showed that satisfaction of one's curiosity activates reward-related circuitries in the brain, even when the information search exposes the individual to unpleasant stimuli 27,28 . ...
... In the case of confidence, a well-known cognitive bias occurs in poor performers who are overconfident in their abilities, known as the Dunning-Kruger effect (56). This interpretation has been challenged by noting that regression to the mean would lead to similar observations of overconfidence (57)(58)(59) and a rational Bayesian inference model largely explains the miscalibration of confidence (60). ...
... -William Shakespeare (King Lear, act 1, scene 2) As the name "regression fallacy" implies, people have a hard time recognizing regression effects when they see them, opening the door to a host of superstitious beliefs (Nisbett and Ross 1980;Kruger, Savitsky, and Gilovich 1999). Those that constitute admonitions about not tempting fate result from those occasions when regression effects lead (predictably) to a preponderance of negative outcomes after a run of unusual success. ...
... The better-thanaverage effect represents the unrealistically positive view people have of themselves and their abilities However, with the work of Kruger & Dunning, this effect was catapulted into the awareness of the general public with their findings that 'when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. They are left with the impression that they are doing just fine.' (Kruger & Dunning, 1999p.1121. Interestingly, the miscalibration of one's ability is not limited to those lacking in skill or intelligence. ...
... There has been both criticism and support. Most studies recognize that there is a DK effect and provide a psychological explanation, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing with Kruger and Dunning's metacognitive explanations; see Ehrlinger et al. (2008), Schlosser et al. (2013), Williams et al. (2013), Sullivan et al. (2018), West and Eaton (2019), Gabbard and Romanelli (2021), and Mariana et al. (2021); and partial responses in Kruger and Dunning (2002), Dunning et al. (2003Dunning et al. ( , 2004, and Dunning (2011). Meeran et al. (2016) explained the DK effect based on the anchoring and adjustment heuristic, while Jansen et al. (2021) replicated two of Dunning and Kruger's studies using a sample of 4,000 participants. ...
... Also, because the overall enjoyment derived from eating a food is influenced by the last bites, a small portion can be more enjoyable than a larger portion whose total enjoyment has been diminished by low-pleasure final bites (Garbinsky, Morewedge, & Shiv, 2014;Rode, Rozin, & Durlach, 2007;Rozin & Rozin, 2018;Schwartz, et al., 2020). Hence by making the sensory experience of eating more salient, sensory focus leads people to savor (and enjoy) their food more, which makes them satiate faster and eat less (Galak, Kruger, & Loewenstein, 2013;Robinson, et al., 2014;Rozin, Kabnick, Pete, Fischler, & Shields, 2003). In addition, sensory focus helps people better anticipate that smaller portions are more enjoyable than they would otherwise think, leading them to choose smaller portions (Cornil & Chandon, 2016a). ...