Some time ago already, in my ongoing personal education and growth in the field of kinbaku, I came across the Dunning-Kruger effect.  This effect resonated with me. It resonated for my own mindset towards how I’m growing and learning. It also resonated for what I see and experience in the kinbaku world at large. Ever since, I have been wanting to write something about it.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is an important psychological concept,  a type of cognitive bias, that (un)knowingly affects us all. This includes kinbaku educators, riggers, models, bunnies, etc…

This graph is a dramatized representation of the Dunning-Kruger effect:

What you can read from the above graph is that people with limited knowledge/competence in a given domain will overestimate their own knowledge/competence in that domain. Sometimes people know a little about a subject and quickly think they know everything. As they continue to learn the more they realize they have even more to learn.  When they keep learning the eventually become an expert.

In the words of Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge


Here’s another dramatized graph of this:

What I (have) see(n) too often in the wonderful world of Japanese rope bondage is that people take a few workshops and boost about how well they now know kinbaku. There are no secrets anymore! This is the Dunning-Kruger effect at work. The images from their workshop-ties get plastered on the web. On (peer-)rope events they convey with confidence that they know it all, they did workshops. No, not workshop, workshops with <insert a Japanese or loud-on-the-web name here>. They tie every one willing into a suspension. These willing ones are generally equally inexperienced. These people are an accident waiting to happen, they are on the peak of mount stupid. Some even start providing workshops…

The people that educate themselves further find that the more they know, the less they actually know. They slide of mount stupid and enter the valley of despair. Then they start to have an idea of the road ahead, the work that they need to put in. At this point they are beyond being ignorant but far from being wise, they are nowhere. From here it takes a lot of motivation, strength to embark on the path to enlightenment and become your own person in the world of kinbaku instead of a workshop-copy.

The ones that soldier forth, put in the time and work to educate themselves, grow.  They are not so confident anymore, they understand there is a lot yet to master, the road ahead is long, never-ending even. But walking this road will in time give you an understanding of kinbaku that goes beyond knowing, it is understanding! It is an understanding that you feel in your bones, in your gut.


So, why do I think it is important that you are aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect? Imagine this graph:

Your knowledge/competence is at point A, you basically know nothing yet. For you it is now difficult to tell the difference between a confident idiot and the actual expert. They will speak with the same level of authority.


Update, 11 April 2021

This article sparked an interesting thread on FetLife:


Update, 12 April 2021

Not surprisingly I am not the only one who sees that we have an issue in our community/scene. I would like to link to two article, from people whose opinion I  value, addressing this same issue:




Bob | RopeMarks


I am not a psychologist and have used resources on the web to compile this extremely brief information on the Dunning-Kruger effect.  I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinion. These are some of the resources I used:



RopeMark Ryu | RopeMarks