Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 10, No 2 (2016)

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Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning-Kruger Effect

Khalid Mahmood


This systematic review has analyzed 53 studies that assessed and compared peoples’ self-reported and demonstrated information literacy skills. The objective was to collect empirical evidence on the existence of Dunning-Kruger Effect in the area of information literacy. The findings clearly show that this theory works in this area. It is concluded that there is no calibration in peoples’ perceived and actual IL skills. In most of the cases, low-performers overestimate their skills in self-assessments. The findings have theoretical and practical implications for librarians and IL educators.

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