Encyclopedia > Incompetence

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Incompetence is the condition of a person who is unable to properly perform his assigned duty. Incompetence is the essential ingredient of the Peter Principle, which states that in a hierarchical organization, every employee tends to evolve through promotions towards a position in which he is incompetent.

Examples of incompetence abound in the real world as well as in fictional works such as the Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams.

Although it is an overwhelmingly important threat to the proper functioning of society, this phenomenon has been relatively neglected by the scientific community. However, there is room to hope that it will eventually be better understood, as the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize was awarded to David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments." (published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology[?], vol. 77, no. 6, December 1999, pp. 1121-1134. link here (http://www.apa.org/journals/psp/psp7761121) )

See also: Military incompetence

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