When peers are not peers and don't know it: The Dunning-Kruger effect and self-fulfilling prophecy in peer-review



The fateful combination of (i) the Dunning-Kruger effect (ignorance of one's own ignorance) with (ii) the nonlinear dynamics of the echo-chamber between reviewers and editors fuels a self-reinforcing collective delusion system that sometimes spirals uncontrollably away from objectivity and truth. Escape from this subconscious meta-ignorance is a formidable challenge but if achieved will help correct a central deficit of the peer-review process that stifles innovation and paradigm shifts.