This flaw in the human mind explains why the world is full of overconfident, bumbling know-it-alls

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto, Everett Collection
The ‘knowledge illusion’ is worse than a mere failure to know what we don’t know; it’s not realizing how we know what we do know.

Whenever I crack under questioning, when the only answers I can muster are tortured strings of wells, ums and you sees, my interrogators like to make me squirm for 30 seconds or so before finally putting me out of my misery.

“Daddy, just Google it.”

You try satisfying my 9-year-old boys’ boundless curiosity about “What causes hurricanes?” or “Why is there war in Syria?” or “How come farts smell?” without eventually being told to seek digital assistance.

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