The Dunning-Kruger effect in Emirati college students: Evidence for Generalizability across cultures

Mariana V.C. Coutinho, Justin Thomas, Imani Fredricks-Lowman, Marina Verlinden Bondaruk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Past research reports higher levels of overconfidence for low performers compared to more proficient performers. This finding has been attributed to low performers' lack of insight into their cognitive processes, and it is referred as the Dunning-Kruger effect. This effect has been replicated across various tasks and domains. To date, however, there have been very limited explorations of the Dunning-Kruger effect in individuals from Non-Western, collectivist countries, where self-enhancing biases might be less prevalent. The aim of this study is to explore whether the Dunning-Kruger effect is also demonstrated among Arab, college students in the United Arab Emirates. Emirati, female college students completed a matrix reasoning task and subsequently assessed their own performance on it by estimating their raw score. The results replicated the Dunning-Kruger effect. Participants scoring in the lowest quartile significantly overestimated their performance and demonstrated levels of overconfidence significantly higher than that of more proficient peers. This study extends our understanding of overconfidence and the Dunning-Kruger effect to the Arab world. The results are discussed with reference to proposed underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Collectivist society
  • Cross-cultural
  • Dunning-Kruger effect
  • Metacognition
  • Overconfidence
  • Reasoning
  • Self-insight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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