We have piles of evidence to show that people overtrust their judgment and overestimate their goodness. Also, there is no easy correlation between self-esteem and actual performance….
This leads to my final question: In society generally, are more problems caused by overconfidence or underconfidence? The financial crisis and the tenor of our political debates suggest that overconfidence and self-idolatry are by far the larger problems. If that’s true, how do you combine the self-critical ability to recognize your limitations with the majestic confidence required to struggle against them?
I guess I’m asking how to marry self-criticism and self-assertion, a blend our society is inarticulate about. I guess I’m wondering, as we make this blend, whether most of us need more of the stereotypically female trait of self-doubt or the stereotypically male trait of self-promotion.