Tourism myths and the Dunning Kruger effect

Stephen Pratt, Bing Pan, Elizabeth Agyeiwaah, Soey Sut Ieng Lei, Peter Lugosi, Ksenia Kirillova, Marit Piirman, Jonathan Lockwood Sutton, H. Cristina Jönsson, Stefanie Haselwanter, Ryan P. Smith, Rupa Sinha, Tracy Berno, Murray Mackenzie, Sonya Graci, Y. Venkata Rao, Linda Veliverronena, Bozana Zekan, D. A.C. Suranga Silva, Soyoung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There are many erroneous but pervasive ‘truths’ about tourism. This study assesses individuals' capacity to question these myths alongside their self-perceptions of their critical thinking skills. The research used a survey with 1493 respondents from 22 universities across 16 countries/territories to test the Dunning Kruger effect, which suggests an inverse relationship between self-belief and competence. The data provides strong evidence of the Dunning Kruger effect insofar as those more likely to believe in tourism myths also had a greater tendency to overestimate their capabilities, and vice versa. We discuss the possible causes and the implications for tourism education, identifying potential interventions at different points along learners' developmental journeys to help ensure a more sustainable future for tourism scholarship and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103620
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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