International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 20 Num. 1 - February 2020


The Dunning-Kruger Effect in Emirati College Students: Evidence for Generalizability Across Cultures

Volume 20 Num. 1 - February 2020 - Pages 29-36


Coutinho MVC , Thomas J , Fredricks-Lowman I , Bondaruk MV


Volume 20, 1, 2020. To be published March 1st 2020

Past research reports higher levels of overconfidence for low performers compared to more proficient performers. This finding has been attributed to low performers’ lack of insight into their cognitive processes, and it is referred as the Dunning-Kruger effect. This effect has been replicated across various tasks and domains. To date, however, there have been very limited explorations of the Dunning-Kruger effect in individuals from Non-Western, collectivist countries, where self-enhancing biases might be less prevalent. The aim of this study is to explore whether the Dunning-Kruger effect is also demonstrated among Arab, college students in the United Arab Emirates. Emirati, female college students completed a matrix reasoning task and subsequently assessed their own performance on it by estimating their raw score. The results replicated the Dunning-Kruger effect. Participants scoring in the lowest quartile significantly overestimated their performance and demonstrated levels of overconfidence significantly higher than that of more proficient peers. This study extends our understanding of overconfidence and the Dunning-Kruger effect to the Arab world. The results are discussed with reference to proposed underlying mechanisms.

How to cite this paper: Coutinho MVC, Thomas J, Fredricks-Lowman I, & Bondaruk MV (2020). The Dunning-Kruger Effect in Emirati College Students: Evidence for Generalizability Across Cultures. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 20, 1, 29-36


Key words:

Dunning-Kruger effect, metacognition, cross-cultural, self-insight, overconfidence, reasoning, collectivist society

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