Help: avoiding bias in a Training Needs Analysis

Hello my L&D people,

I am conducting my first Training Needs Analysis and I could use some help.

I’m writing both an interview guide and a questionnaire/survey for employees. In my progress, I’ve come across research about the The Dunning–Kruger effect as it pertains to self-disclosure (a cognitive bias whereby people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability, and people with high ability at a task underestimate their skills.) I’m wondering how to work around / negate this bias, if I can. I thought about only interviewing / surveying managers, but that also seems off, as I want to hear directly from employees. I want to determine a skills/competency gap analysis, so I need to do interviews and conduct a survey, but how do I avoid/mitigate bias? Any thoughts, resources, or support would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Moseph,
A couple thoughts…It may be help to include mini-scenarios that employees and managers can respond to, to better help demonstrate skill levels vs. simply rating oneself on a skill. Also, as you prepare your interview questions and survey, be mindful of the questioning techniques used. Perhaps more open-ended questions that give experienced people ample opportunity to demonstrate deeper knowledge vs. less experienced people who are able to provide limited responses.


Hi @Moseph,

Your training needs analysis sounds very useful! I had developed a questionnaire a few years ago and probably didn’t take the Dunning -Kruger effect into consideration.
I needed to refresh my memory – Do you have resource links that you can suggest?