Believing you know is not the same as knowing

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Science  07 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6248, pp. 599-600
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6248.599-c

Impossibly large numbers of people believe that they are above average drivers; similarly, people often think that they understand how GPS works, but then cannot provide a persuasive explanation. Atir et al. add the phenomenon of overclaiming to this list of meta-cognitive judgments. They find that crowd-sourced workers claim know or to be familiar with nonexistent financial (“fixed-rate deduction”) or biological (“metatoxins”) terms and that this occurs in proportion to their self-assessed knowledge about the topic. Moreover, telling people in advance that some terms did not exist had no effect on how many they claimed to know.

Psychol. Sci. 26, 10.1177/0956797615588195 (2015).

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