Consious and competence

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Conscious and Competence
Explanations > Learning Theory > Conscious and Competence
Theory | Discussion | So what


There are four states of consciousness and competence that you may pass through as you learn, as in the model below.
|Conscious-Competence model |Competence |
|| |
| |Incompetent |
| |Competent |
| ||
|Consciousness |  |
|Conscious |Conscious |
| |Incompetence |
||  |
|Unconscious |Conscious |
| |Competence |
| ||
| |  |
| |Unconscious |
| |incompetence |
| | |
| |Unconscious |
| |Competence |
| ||


Unconscious incompetence

As an unconscious incompetent, you do not know what you do not know. You are lack knowledge and skills in the area in question and are unaware of this lack.
In this state, where you can exist for a very long time, you are not as competent as one or more of:
• You think you are
• You actually could be
• Other, more competent people
In thisstate, you may be in one of two positions. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and you may well be happily naive, not realizing that you are not competent.
You also may be in a faking state, where you believe you are competent, and either do not realize that you are in this state or are covering up your incompetence (in which state you may be in the next stage).

Conscious incompetence

As aconscious incompetent, you realize that you are not as expert as perhaps you thought you were or thought you could be.
The transition to this state from being unconsciously incompetent can be a shocking and sudden realization, for example when you meet others who are clearly more competent than you, or when a friend holds up a metaphorical mirror to your real ability.
You can also exist in this statefor a long time, depending on factors such as your determination to learn and the real extent to which you accept your incompetence.

Conscious competence

Becoming consciously competent often takes a while, as you steadily learn about the new area, either through experience or more formal learning. This process can go in fits and starts as you learn, forget, plateau and start anew.
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