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I’ve stated a related premise of this story — that most, if not all of us — do not know what we don’t know.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is relatedly known as more-or-less one “not knowing that one doesn’t know.” In other words, can intelligence be so low-level that the holder of this limited knowledge doesn’t know enough to know he has low intelligence?

For one, nobody has to visit Facebook (or the like) for more than a few minutes to stumble upon misinformation, false stories, disinformation, fake news, etc.

Just in the past few weeks:

  • Did you know Bill Gates is the subject of an India criminal trial?
  • Did you know Obama’s daughter was arrested?
  • Did you know Trump was named man-of-the-year in Michigan?
  • Did you know you have an inalienable right to conduct a live auction?

Maybe good practice would be to question anything you see in print, or more importantly in a “news story” or a related meme, with some healthy skepticism? Sometimes I use the rule, “If it’s just too good to be true, it probably is.”

As well it’s good to read the entire story, rather than just the headline or comments concerning the title line. More often than not, the story will shed more light on the lead and present some exceptions and/or more complete analysis.

We all want what we believe to be true to be affirmed and we all want what we think is false to be disaffirmed. That leads us looking for affirmation rather than information as we wrote about here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/auctioneers-information-versus-affirmation/.

Of course, some people make it even easier for the rest of us — and any regular and routine poster of false information requires less investigation; we can all use essentially the poster’s identity as a method of fact-checking.

The worst may be the poster who posts false information only to be countered with factual data, who acknowledges the correction, but stands by the fake claims, “because I want to make a point.” Any such “point” with false data is not a point at all.

Ryan George even suggested the Dunning-Kruger effect might be costing some auctioneers commissions. By thinking you know more than you know, you are less apt to try new things — possibly costing you increased profits? https://www.ryangeorge.net/dunningkruger/.

Finally, it is not terrifically difficult to check the accuracy of most stories. All media — including the brands you like and the brands you think are wrong all the time — make mistakes. No media source has sole ownership of all that is true. Checking a variety of sources is usually best.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.