Mass Immersion Approach

The Fluency Illusion (And Who to Trust)

The following video is a nice summary of the Dunning–Kruger effect, an important idea for anyone hoping to master a skill.

What I call the Fluency Illusion is essentially the Dunning–Kruger effect projected onto other people:

What I am referring to at 2:51 in the video above is an example of the Dunning–Kruger effect.

You definitely can’t trust advice from people who haven’t accomplished the goal at hand. But you can’t necessarily trust everyone with results either. Many people misinterpret why they have succeeded. Someone may believe they got good at Japanese because they were speaking to Japanese people every day, when in reality, they may have gotten good at Japanese because of the input they were receiving in those conversations, and the fact that they were speaking themselves was irrelevant.

After succeeding, looking back at every single activity you engaged in during the previous portion of your life and concluding exactly which of those activities contributed to your results and which didn’t isn’t so easy. For all they know, they might have gotten good at Japanese because of the kind of yogurt they were eating every morning. This is further complicated by the fact that people may have been doing things they didn’t even realize they were doing. Because we don’t have any true long-term scientific studies which look at MIA-style techniques, no one can pin point exactly what their key to their success was.

As far as I can tell, the only way to get around this issue is to talk to many people who have reached the goal, ask them about what exactly they did, and then look for the commonalities between all the different reports. I think you will find that it always has something to do with immersion.