The Dunning-Kruger Effect
One of my fellow mPUA’s and reunion participants, “Trophy” (We are the prize) sent me an interesting theory as to why so many guys, new in pickup, worship gurus who suck at game. He’s in college and learning evolutionary psychology and marketing and sends me his discoveries. He comes up with some new avante garde stuff too.
Now as far as bad gurus, don’t get me wrong, there are many out there who ARE good and have put in the time and effort to not only learn game but to also learn how to be good instructors. My wingman Baron was one of the greats but never trained anyone in a corporate, money-making manner. But I would put him up against Mystery and the other gurus any day for pure ability to teach AND pick up. He demo’d whenever I asked him to and produced consistently. He was able to bring me up when I was down. He also winged me to the detriment of his own evening’s game.
Many of the best started as far back as the alt.seduction.fast days. But there is a new batch of “Guru’s” out there who have ebooks, teach bootcamps, and generally take people’s money for bad product. I haven’t disclosed it but me and my reunion guys have a foolproof way of determining if a guru or PUA really is good, or if he’s just posing with a bunch of models at the club du jour and posting it on facebook or youtube. You can’t fake real attraction and we have a foolproof method to tell when a picture or infield video is real attraction or not. Maybe I’ll put it on the blog some day but for our crew it’s insider information right now but very easy to do.
So this Dunning-Kruger Effect. you can read about it here on wikipedia.
As Trophy puts it, “the Dunning-Kruger Effect shows why some people get led by ‘PUA Gurus.’ It seems that those incompetent individuals will feign competence when they have none, and we all know we are more likely to follow an individual who is more confident about a decision.”
So what is this effect? First of all it is a “Cognitive Bias”. In other words when seeking the truth, we sometimes get sidetracked by bias… the inability to see we are being swayed for reasons other than science to make a decision or have an outcome. For instance, if you had two identical soft drinks, one in a red can one in a silver can, and 80 of 100 guys choose the red can, you would think the red can was the more preferred and would base your marketing on that. But if the red can was in front of a hot porn star, and the silver can was in front of a grandmother, you’d know there was a selection bias… the guys were possibly choosing the can based on who held it, not the color of the can. Sometimes we filter out what’s really making us make decisions.
So AFC’s choose gurus based on this same bias: The less someone knows about a subject, the more they will look up to someone just as incompetent, as long as he/she shows confidence in their knowledge. No matter how bad a guru is, just having confidence, pics of him with a model or star, or a flashy website with good marketing and copywriting will get him more credibility as a guru.
But you always hear the stories of a student asking a guru to demo in field, and he refuses. For all the confident talk, the guy is a sham and a flake. And many a student who has gone to bootcamps costing over 2500 dollars return home pissed because the guy never showed the ability or the energy it takes to be a guru or mPUA. They got duped by the confidence and marketing. But many guys don’t know any better based on the Dunning-Kruger effect. Because their guru is incompetent, THEY THEMSELVES END UP THINKING THEY ARE BETTER THAN THEY ARE, AND BECOME INCOMPETENT “GURUS” AS WELL.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect: an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes.
Some students who come to me for training hate me because I’m pointing out flawed teachings from other gurus who didn’t know jack crap. When I’m real and to the point and up front about their poor skills these incompetently-trained students say, “XYZ Guru from Jacksystems or Jacklife or Jack Arts or Jack Dynamics couldn’t have been wrong! He charges 2500 a day! He can’t be wrong! He’s taught hundreds of guys and has been on VH1 as a dating expert! How can YOU know anything you are an unknown guru from North Carolina!” etc. etc. Once I clear out the cobwebs and show them how a real guru can work in field, and the evidence I teach people on how to critically evaluate a so-called “guru,” their eyes are opened. And it allows them to sort through the knowledge out there and sort good from bad, and also to learn game and bootcamp more economically rather than to blow thousands on a snake-oil selling charlatan whose snake oil is his fake confidence.
Per Wikipedia: “The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.” I don’t know how many students I have taken on only to tell them in their first bootcamp they already were mPUA’s. They just didn’t see it. Then there are friends going out teaching who also don’t know jack crap about anything and create more guys suffering from illusory superiority. So watch out. It takes a guy who’s been in game and seen the different people out there to help you on your way to steer you away from the incompetent instruction and toward more meaningful and impact-heavy learning.
But watch out for the converse. The example would be a guy who has the skills that drops out of game because of no perceived success. Sometimes it takes one tweak from a teacher like me to get success. I’ll never forget when I bootcamped with Kosmo. I wasn’t getting as many kiss closes as my wingman even though my wing said I was good enough to get them and couldn’t figure why I wasn’t getting them. Kosmo evaluated my game. Then said, plain and simple, “You forgot about the statement of intent. Tell the girls you like them! Then move on in the game and go for the kisses etc.” I took his advice and the rest is game history. I was already REALLY GOOD at attracting and just forgetting a crucial step in the model. But I couldn’t see how good I was except from an outside observer. So despite being skilled, I had a weakened self confidence despite having competence.
I’ve seen way too many people drop out of game for this very reason. After a year’s work, they drop out thinking they had no game when all it took was for them to look around and see their true skills compared to a bunch of weaker skilled guys with flashy facebooks. They didn’t get me as their teacher and guide soon enough. I am not a guru either. I’m just a guy who has competence in game and teaching.
So beware the Dunning Kruger effect. If you worship one guru over another, it’s possible you are falling for it and partaking in it! Then you may find your skills aren’t as good as you thought they were. Even if you already spent 5000 dollars for them.
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