The Rumsfeld Effect: The Unknown Unknown

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Abstract

A set of studies tested whether people can use awareness of ignorance to provide enhanced test consistency over time if they are allowed to place uncertain items into a “don't know” category. For factual knowledge this did occur, but for a range of other forms of knowledge relating to conceptual knowledge and personal identity, no such effect was seen. Known unknowns would appear to be largely restricted to factual kinds of knowledge.

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