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In As You Like It, Shakespeare noted that 'The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool'. Bertrand Russell concurred: 'One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision'. In 1999 David Dunning and Justin Kruger demonstrated the effect experimentally in one of my favourite ever findings: incompetent people lack the competence to recognise their own incompetence.
But it's not just the incompetent: we are all prone to errors in our understanding of ourselves in comparison to others. Nearly seven years on from his last piece (tinyurl.com/cu66oe3) we welcome Dunning back for an update on why people in general appear to know other people better than they know themselves.
Elsewhere we have an extensive set of reports from the Society's Annual Conference (see p.398), and our broader 'Reviews' section (p.452) continues to benefit from willing volunteers, many alerted to opportunities through @psychmag on Twitter.
Dr Jon Sutton
The paradox of knowing: Why do we have greater insight into others than ourselves?
David Dunning outlines some intriguing research
Imagining the future - a bird's eye view
James Thom, Nicola Clayton and Jon Simons on episodic future thinking
Interview: Working at the cutting edge
Lance Workman talks to Kevin Browne about his international work on institutional childcare practices
Methods: Network analysis
David Hevey, Aifric Collins and Amy Brogan
Diagnosis debate; humour; stupidity; the academic backlog; disabled scientists; A-level; the virtual conference; and more
News and digest
The launch of DSM-5; hospital passport; emotional support following stroke; nudge unit; fist clenching and memory; replication; awards; and the latest nuggets from the Society's free Research Digest service
Reports from the Society's Annual Conference in Harrogate, including:
- Alex Haslam and Robin Dunbar covering each other's keynotes;
- asylum seekers;
- social media;
- Presidential Address;
- magicians, mesmerists and mediums;
- the 2011 riots;
- contemporary masculinities;
- revisiting the classics;
- working memory and education;
- and more
President's column; Lifetime Achievement Award; the Research Digest on the radio; and more
Careers and appointments
We meet Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, and Dr Jennifer Hall writes about her work in Uganda
Is psychology being taken for a ride?; pioneers; experiences of war; Being Human; A Box of Birds; Light Show; All in the Mind; and more
An ecological approach to audio description from Louise Fryer in the latest of our series for budding writers (see www.bps.org.uk/newvoices)
Freud and the British royal family: David Cohen delves into some intriguing and bizarre connections
One on one
with Stephen Murgatroyd