The Phenomenon of the 'Dunning-Kruger Effect' in Government Bureaucracy

The Phenomenon of the 'Dunning-Kruger Effect' in Government Bureaucracy

In the world of psychology, there is a concept called the Dunning Kruger Effect theory that talks about its relationship with one's personality. The Dunning Kruger Effect is a psychological phenomenon when a person feels that he has high abilities or knowledge even though it does not match reality. It can also be interpreted as a phenomenon when someone mistakenly assesses his ability. They feel smarter, more powerful, more understanding and superior. At the same time, they may find other people's opinions stupid, unfounded and completely wrong. So, people with this condition usually think that other people are wrong and no smarter than them.

The theory of the Dunning Kruger Effect was developed by David Dunning and Justin Kruger in 1999, professors of psychology from Cornell University. According to Professors David and Justin, a person who is affected and experiences the Dunning Kruger Effect has the following characteristics: tends to overestimate his skill level, is unable to recognize the skills of others, is unable to recognize the bad aspects of his incompetence, and is unable to recognize and acknowledge one's own shortcomings.

The negative effect, if left unchecked, is that the misinformation spread by this person can be troubling for the environment. People with the Dunning Kruger Effect also don't like being criticized because they feel they are right. One of the biggest causes of the Dunning Kruger Effect is ego. Of course, everyone doesn't want to be seen as having no abilities. This makes people increase their evaluation of themselves and ignore their weaknesses.

In government bureaucracy, is the Dunning Kruger Effect needed to increase performance or vice versa. An employee in carrying out the activities of the duties and functions of the bureaucracy he carries is inseparable from the relationship of hierarchy, orders and authority. One of the main functions of the bureaucracy is to carry out and execute state or government laws and policies. The Dunning Kruger Effect is needed for a superior when dealing with a subordinate to determine the level of understanding in carrying out orders or vice versa a subordinate can measure the understanding of his superior in giving orders. If a superior or subordinate realizes that the Dunning Kruger Effect is beneficial for improving the quality of himself, of course he will try to avoid its negative effects. However, in the world of bureaucracy, whatever its activities are always related to regulation and authority, because bureaucracy is an organizational system that is interconnected and influences in achieving goals.


When a boss works dominated by ego, what happens is that it often bumps into values ​​and rules, because the person concerned wants to show his superiority. At the same time, subordinates as subordinates want to show an attitude of loyalty and respect as a form of obedience to superiors' orders without carrying out control and review of tasks, so that what often happens is entangled in the cycle of stupidity in the congregation. Whereas the bureaucratic system is based on regulations or policies that bind its actions. The standard measure of right and wrong for an order or action in the government bureaucracy is determined by normative rules, namely laws or regulations and policies that cover them. Thus, superiors who display arrogance, selfishness, and superiority over their subordinates are certain to be less meaningful in enlivening the true bureaucratic system. At first glance it looks superior, but it is organizationally fragile and runs rigidly. Likewise, subordinates who look smart but are silly because they are protecting themselves from the weaknesses of their superiors, this condition is not profitable, they are feared to be dangerous for the continuity of the organization and they even drag on other staff and are not the least bit entangled in administrative and legal cases. We are very concerned when a State Civil Apparatus (ASN) is involved in a legal case due to feeling capable, smart, too brave and being noticed by superiors who ultimately accept the risk of having to leave ASN because they become accused of corruption cases for example.

ASNs do not need to hide their pretense attitudes and behavior, this must be thrown away from the ASN personality, act and behave according to the standards, authority, capacity and competence that we have, work not because there is anything but as it is. Mental attitude and morality and integrity must be upheld and upheld, there is no need for our performance to be considered great and extraordinary by superiors while we ignore normative, moral and religious values ​​because we focus on work performance. Good and correct performance is needed for ASN as a form of dedication to serving the community but still working smart and clean from all kinds of personal, group and group interests, especially superiors. ASN works in a system and bureaucratic management that is directed and measurable, don't dare to try to fake yourself anymore. Being honest with yourself will save you from excessive selfishness because that is the beginning of destruction and destruction. Understand that the bureaucracy as a system of government organization must take place in the public interest which is not forced and not forced, but with reference to the applicable laws and regulations as guidelines.

Quoting from several expert views that how and the strategy to avoid the Dunning Kruger Effect. In principle, every individual must continue to learn and practice, ask for opinions and constructive criticism and suggestions from others, keep asking questions about capacity, competence and self-knowledge, like to ask questions and self-evaluate. Completing this simple writing, of course, each of us is a leader, at least being a leader ourselves. Befriend the ego which always demands perfect recognition of self, leading a whole person is much more complicated than leading other people who have many motivations and interests.


Writer :
Nusation Anwar
Editor :
Early Febriana
Translator :
Intan Qonita N

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