We may be seeing the Dunning-Kruger effect in groups. The Dunning-Kruger effect reflects a persistent bias in how we assess our own specific competence in an area. The effect is often summarized (usually for the purpose of snark on an internet exchange) as, “dumb people are too dumb to realize how dumb they are.”
However, the Dunning-Kruger effect does not necessarily apply to specific people, it applies to everyone. We are all on different places on the Dunning-Kruger spectrum for different areas of expertise. Further, the curve shows that the lower one’s expertise the greater one overestimates their expertise, up to around the 75th percentile, above which we tend to underestimate our expertise. The estimate curve is flat compared to the reality curve.
Are we seeing this same effect in the current research but for groups? Both members tended to overvalue the opinions of the lesser-performing partner and undervalue the opinions of the better-performing partner. This cannot be pure Dunning-Kruger, however, because this effect persisted even when both members were given hard data that showed exactly how each member was performing.
This is where it always gets tricky, figuring out why people behaved as they did in a study. The authors conclude that the subjects in their study were displaying an equality bias, which is a straightforward and reasonable interpretation. Even when there is hard data and an incentive to optimize group performance, there was apparently a greater emotional incentive to weight each member’s opinion closer to equal.
More here – Neurologica