Rational Ignorance & The Illusion of the Unskilled

Economists use this term to describe inattention that is justified because the costs of paying attention outweigh the benefits.

Eyes looking

Digital signage has its points of rational ignorance. We accept that software designers know what they were doing, that operators are aware of network health and that some impact analysis is not worth quantifying.

Just as in financial matters, ignorance can have its price. Loss of portfolio valuation in finances is akin to loss of network value in digital signage.

In a blog titled “The Strike Zone of Digital Signage” the relationship between knowledge and deployment are described. The highest value – lowest risk relationship between knowledge and investment is characterized, as the areas of risk and under-benefit are noted.

Knowing “enough” is the key. But people’s Achilles heal is that we don’t know what we don’t know.

We further suffer from The Dunning-Kruger Effect, which was named from research at Cornell University in 1999. Wikipedia describes “this illusion of the unskilled” as “a cognitive bias wherein relatively unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate”.

These human biases indicate that we are pre-disposed to errors and omissions, with a tendency toward incurring risk where decisions are concerned.

While risk is part of every situation, managing or mitigating risk is part of what makes organizations successful. Acquiring knowledge through research, experience or drawing on subject matter expertise are tools in the process of accomplishing a worthy goal.

Expertise is especially valuable because knowledge acquisition is based on direction rather than discovery. The inter-relationship of elements and the relevance of each related to the investment decision being contemplated is a primary way of mitigating risk and reducing the fear of the unknown.

These, while going boldly, and knowingly forth will get the results you seek.




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One Response to “Rational Ignorance & The Illusion of the Unskilled”

  1. Digital Media Outlook for 2016: The Force Pervades - rAVe [Publications] Says:

    […] media growth. Many end-users do not know the value of the benefits from their investment. “Rational ignorance” is being applied where benefits are not easily quantifiable (such as the impact on brand equity), […]

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