Prejudiced and unaware of it: Evidence for the Dunning-Kruger model in the domains of racism and sexism

West, Keon and Eaton, Asia. 2019. Prejudiced and unaware of it: Evidence for the Dunning-Kruger model in the domains of racism and sexism. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, pp. 111-119. ISSN 0191-8869 [Article]

2019.03.26 West & Eaton Prejudiced and Unaware.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (341kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Prior research, and high-prolife contemporary examples, show that individuals tend to underestimate their own levels of bias. This underestimation is partially explained by motivational factors. However, (meta-) cognitive factors may also be involved. Conceptualising contemporary egalitarianism as type of skill or competence, this research proposed that egalitarianism should conform to the Dunning-Kruger model. That is, individuals should overestimate their own ability, and this overestimation should be strongest in the least competent individuals. Furthermore, training should improve metacognition and reduce this overestimation. Two studies on racism (N = 148), and sexism (N = 159) partially supported these hypotheses. In line with the Dunning-Kruger model, participants overestimated their levels of racial and gender-based egalitarianism, and this pattern was strongest among the most prejudiced participants. However, diversity training did not affect participants’ overestimation of their egalitarianism. Implications for contemporary prejudice, and prejudice-reducing strategies are discussed.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Competence, Prejudice, Racism, Sexism, Dunning-Kruger

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 March 2019Accepted
9 April 2019Published Online
1 August 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2019 09:49

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 07:51

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)