I think I understand the Dunning Kruger effect: assessing our ability in a certain field, requires the meta cognitive skills that competence in that field brings, so without these skills we tend to overestimate our ability in that field.

But why is this so? Absent the yardstick, aren't we just as likely to underestimate our ability as overestimate?

Maybe I've misunderstood, or maybe my understanding in incomplete. Can someone explain? What's going on here?

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    $\begingroup$ Presumably because holding a more positive than negative view of yourself gives a slight evolutionary advantage, the same with "myside bias" etc. But it would be really hard to prove why answer like this beyond possible confounders... $\endgroup$ – Fizz Feb 8 at 15:10

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