Psychologists reveal the ‘three different types of stupidity’

Have you ever wondered how people get to be so stupid?

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We have all seen it, and we have probably done it more than a couple of time, and we will always be left by an uncertainty of how could actually someone be so stupid despite all of the things that are there to keep the knowledge flowing into its brain? Or maybe we haven’t thought about it as deep as that, but we actually think what’s with stupid people? It’s sometimes not all the culprit’s fault, and we will always think that way, but what is it, really? We always know that there are stupid people, and we leave them for it because they seem incurable. And when we actually thought that there is no apparent reason behind it, it seems like the Institute of Psychology at Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary was able to conduct experiments and has set out to rate stupidity.

Their study, which has been published on the December issue of Intelligence, stated that there are three types of stupidity. And it’s not the stupid, moron, and what not kind of thing. It’s something that would be explaining their behavior. They have concluded that three main categories are foolish behavior, confident ignorance and lack of control and absentmindedness.

Research Digest published about the study and broke the different types of what we think are stupid:

  • “Confident ignorance” which is when people engage in risky actions for which they lack the prerequisite skills or knowledge. Such actions received the highest ratings of stupidity and were encapsulated by a story of burglars who thought they were stealing mobile phones, but actually stole GPS tracking devices which allowed the police to find them.
  • “Lack of control”, resulting from obsessive or addictive behavior. For example, a person who cancelled a meet up with a good friend because they couldn’t pull themselves away from a video game. This category was intermediary in the hierarchy of stupidity.
  • “Absentmindedness – Lack of practicality” which refers to instances when people fail a practical task, either out of distraction or because of a lack of practical skills. This category was encapsulated by someone inflating car tires too far. In terms of stupidity ratings, the participants were most lenient toward these kinds of acts.

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The study has been made to review by students in the University and resulted to them having to collect stories in which they think of as stupid from publishing sites such as The New York Times, BBC and gossip site TMZ. They ended up with 180 stories, not much to work with but was able to break down, as unsurprisingly, the more stupid, the more consequences that the perpetrator has to face.

“Studying why and when people call certain actions stupid should be the interest of psychological investigations not just because it is a frequent everyday behaviour, but also because it is a robust behavioural reflection of the rationalistic expectations to which people adjust their own behaviour and expect others to.

“These results bring us closer to understanding people’s conception of unintelligent behavior while emphasizing the broader psychological perspectives of studying the attribute of stupid in everyday life.”