People often make suboptimal decisions because their judgment is clouded by cognitive biases . Metacognition can help overcome such biases.
Many people, particularly in Western cultures, have a sense of illusory superiority . They believe they are above average at desirable skills. The Dunning-Kruger effect is the observation that the least competent people are most likely to overestimate their competence because they lack the knowledge and skills to assess themselves accurately. They don’t know what they don’t know .
Many biases and illusions can interfere with effective learning:
- Illusions of fluency : When learning feels easy, people tend to think it is productive. Research has demonstrated that effortful learning is more effective.
- Foresight bias : Commonly occurs when an answer is presented together with the question making it seem natural or self-evident. Learners tend to overestimate their ability to remember the answer. But when the question appears by itself without the corresponding explanation — say during a test — the answer is more challenging to produce.
- Stability bias : Occurs when people fail to account for forgetting and overestimate their ability to retain knowledge.