Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Pain, No Train

Trainers and educators face the Confidence Paradox on a routine basis.

The paradox is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, named after the scientists who observed "the skills that engender competence in a particular domain are often the very same skills necessary to evaluate competence in that domain—one's own or anyone else's. Because of this, incompetent individuals lack... the ability to know how well one is performing, when one is likely to be accurate in judgment, and when one is likely to be in error." (APA Journal article)

How do you break through the Confidence Paradox in training?

Games can help. Here at Bodine Training Games, we think one great value of training and review games is to deliver consequences for ignorance, faulty or obsolete knowledge without anyone needing to suffer real-world damage from it.

The game show atmosphere has the unique ability to make mundane questions feel like there's a lot at stake. So when a person delivers a wrong answer to a training question -- especially an answer he is confident is right -- the correction is accompanied with a twinge of pain and a loss of points and even pride. See that grimace on the trainee's face? That's the look of learning. It's not painless when the bubble of unearned confidence gets popped. But it's a matter of no pain, no train. Fortunately, the pain is delivered in the harmless form of a fun game, while the lessons learned are ready to take away to the real world.

Do you have tales or tips related to the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Let's hear from you.