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Why American Idol Works

Why American Idol Works

One question that I hear every time someone starts talking about American Idol is "Where do they find these people?" or something alone the lines of "They have got to be paying that person to audition!". The PDF linked to is entitled "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments". The items I found most interesting were as follows:

  • The bottom quartile inflated performance the most.
  • The top quartile underestimated performance.
  • After reviewing the work of peers, the bottom quartile ranked performance the same, while the top quartile upped performance rankings.
  • After training both the bottom and top quartile better estimated performance.

Granted I've not watched much American Idol, but the really bad singers are always amazed that they are judged so poorly while the good ones are modest and surprised by the kind remarks. I'm also reminded of the one very bad singer who found five other people out on the street that said he sounded good (blind leading the blind).

It's a good read.


And don't forget that those who do well will attribute it to themselves and those who do poorly will attribute it to the situation. I forget which Social Psych theory that one is.

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