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Ignorant experts and erudite novices: Exploring the Dunning-Kruger effect in wine consumers

Aqueveque, Claudio
Food quality and preference 2018 v.65 pp. 181-184
cognition, experts, statistical analysis, wine quality, wines
Research devoted to identify differences between expert and non-expert consumers in terms of wine quality perceptions, preferences, and information use and processing, have been prolific during the last decade. Many of these studies have used subjective or self-reported measures of knowledge to distinguish between expert and non-expert consumers. However, this approach can be problematic due to the existence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias in which incompetent or unaware subjects tend to overestimate their knowledge or expertise, whereas high-ability individuals tend to underestimate it. The objective of this study was to explore the presence of this cognitive bias within the wine-knowledge domain. Using a sample of wine consumers (n = 193) and through different statistical analyses, the presence of the Dunning-Kruger effect was confirmed, raising important concerns regarding the use of subjective or self-reported measures of knowledge to classify consumers as experts or non-experts.