Unskilled and don't want to be aware of it: The effect of self-relevance on the unskilled and unaware phenomenon

Young Hoon Kim, Chi Yue Chiu, Jessica Bregant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research found that poor performers tend to overestimate how well their performance compares to others'. This unskilled and unaware effect has been attributed to poor performers' lack of metacognitive ability to realize their ineptitude. We contend that the unskilled are motivated to ignore (be unaware of) their poor performance so that they can feel better about themselves. We tested this idea in an experiment in which we manipulated the perceived self-relevancy of the task to men and women after they had completed a visual pun task and before they estimated their performance on the task. As predicted, the unskilled and unaware effect was attenuated when the task was perceived to have low self-relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0130309
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 12


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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