Confidently Stupid: Worse than the Plague
During my neuropsychological testing career I took note of many patterned trends in my patients and test subject’s assessment results. The first noteworthy pattered trend was that human beings have become less intelligent since I began assessing intelligence in the late 1980s. I took note of another trend that was even more disturbing, namely, that while intelligence was diminishing, psychological confidence among this same group was increasing.
These changes were profound for a couple of reasons. First, being less able to perceive, reason and process information accurately and efficiently portends nothing but trouble for the individual so afflicted and for our culture as a whole. After all, if nothing else, these people vote and drive cars. Secondly, when average or dull people are confident in their intellectual acumen, they are resistant to learning new things or changing their views. Two researchers named Dunning and Kruger named this portrait of the confident, but less intelligent human as suffering from, The Dunning Kruger Effect. (DKE)
DKE manifests most clearly on social media. Social media is to the DKE as gasoline is to a fire. Social media provides a forum for ANYONE with a computer and a FB, Twitter, or other social media account, to spout his or her personal brand of confident stupidity in the from of comments, retorts, assertions and trollisms. ™ Physicist and author Issac Asimov took note of the DKE when he remarked:
Think about how wisdom and knowledge has been conveyed from one person to another for the last 30,000 years. It was done using mentor/protégé relationships where the actual knower took under his wing a student who absorbed the wisdom of the mentor. Think of the Mr. Myiagi (mentor) and Daniel (student) characters in the movie “The Karate Kid.”
Cultured man developed professor/student relationships where the dynamic was that of actual knower to a group of students who, as part of the dynamic, acknowledged that their knowledge and wisdom was less than that of the professor who served in the role of mentor. From the professor’s perspective, he or she could share their special knowledge to students and, in so doing, promoted the tribe’s cultural development along with that of his individual students. Fundamental to the mentor/protégé and professor/student dyads was the respect given to the mentor/professor by the protégé/student, in other words: “wax on…….wax off.”
Respect is an alien term to the DKE afflicted person. This is because the DKE person is too stupid and yet confident to give it. I was one of the first to write about the DKE before it had been given a name. I first saw the DKE in action within the context of a plastic surgery practice.
After having completed 8 years of formal education (honors degrees in psychology, clinical psychology), a 2-year internship (hospital based medical psychology) then 2-year residency (An official CA state department in medical psychology). I was awarded a fellowship in medical psychology where I was PRIVILEGED to study plastic surgery procedures, practices and the psychology of it all at the side of a world-renowned plastic surgeon and his medical colleagues in La Jolla, CA. This fellowship lasted a year and a half. (If you’re counting, that’s 8+2+2+1 ½ years for a total of: 13.5 years of FORMAL EDUCATION and TRAINING on the subjects of medicine, human behavior in places that COUNT. I was individually licensed to practice in 1989 by the state of California.
Our practice was associated with the world famous Scripp’s Hospital. Our offices and surgical suites were state of the art and beautiful examples of the best of what the science of medicine and architecture produced when focused upon a singular purpose.
At least once a month, surgeons from all over the world would come to our practice just so that these surgeons, distinguished in their own right, could learn from the surgeon I was privileged to shadow while being paid to do so.
I learned so much from not only my mentor surgeon, but also my mentor anesthesiologist, who just happened to be the chief of anesthesiology at Scripps Hospital, along with the surgical techs, whose skills were unequaled among their peers. The RNs were gracious and knowledgeable and the best at dealing with pre and post-op issues involved with reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries. Even though I had been chosen because of my own special talents and skills, I understood that I was privileged and honored to study there.
You would think that patients consulting with such a surgeon, in such a practice, in such a city and such a state of the art facility, would be an honored or, at the very least, show a modicum of respect to the doctors and staff. In most instances that was the case, but in some instances the consultation took on a discernible DKE-like dynamic. I began to notice a pattern in the late 1980s wherein some patients would ARGUE with the surgeon’s opinion IF it contradicted the patient’s web-based, lay-person “knowledge”.
Now you have to picture the context I am describing. You have a world-renowned surgeon who offers his opinion regarding a particular procedure or surgical intervention and you have a lay-person, potential patient, who challenges his medical opinion as if he or she is the peer of the surgeon.
So picture this: A senior surgeon spends his morning in surgery with a bevy of gifted surgeons who have flown half way around the world just to watch him perform surgery. In the afternoon this same surgeon finds himself in a repartee-style debate with a lay-person who either has a mouthy girlfriend/boyfriend with her who told her this or that or who has just read an article on plastic surgery in Cosmopolitan Magazine or read something on the web and has now become an instant “expert.”
What does one say or do in response to a DKE person like this? The only thing you can do, and this was my recommendation to the surgeon, you must discharge the patient. This is because the patient had exhibited fatally flawed attitudes and beliefs paired with an ignorant confidence. DKE people are forever being discharged, abandoned, divorced, blocked and/or ignored by the people they need the most, e.g., people of demonstrated substance, knowledge and wisdom. Yet, because DKE’ers are dull witted, they simply can’t attribute their inability to be tolerated by any accomplished person as having anything to do with something inside of them.
Whether it is the lay-person who conceptualizes themselves as the equal to their doctor on the subject of medicine, the criminal’s delusion that he can outsmart forensic experts or the Twitter mouth who has absolutely no idea that the words they type exist as irrefutable evidence of their stupidity, it is always the same. All of these behaviors originate from the FATAL FLAW of confident stupidity, part and parcel to the DKE.
Twitter and other social media forums are to the DKE afflicted person as the schoolyard is to a bully, heckler or troll. This is because the DKE person misunderstands the fact that while he or she’s Twitter account is no different than the Twitter account of an experienced and licensed professional in medicine, the law or human behavior, that is where the similarities end. Twitter becomes the ONLY “place” where a putz can interact with a licensed medical professional or human behavior expert AS THOUGH they are peers on the subject of medicine and psychology when, of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Yours truly ATTEMPTED to interact with Twitter account holders for some noble but, what turned out to be, foolish reasons. First, my colleagues are doctors, lawyers, and mostly rich businessmen and women. My paying clients come from this same group. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to offer, for free, my consultations to the Twittersphere as an act of public service, an act of giving back to the community? Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Enter the DKE’s.
Do DKE people fundamentally misunderstand the concepts of democracy and equality? (yes) Do DKE people believe that democracy and equality stands for the proposition that ALL people are the same when it comes to knowledge, opinion, wisdom or skill-set? (yes) How, pray tell, do DKE afflicted persons ever learn? The answer is they don’t. Why do DKE people habitually interact with experts using snide, condescending, arrogant, snarky and patently stupid remarks and comments? The answer is they are confidently stupid.
The Wecshler Adult Intelligence Scale has been used to measure intelligence millions of times, across cultures, races and individuals. The breakdown of scores for corpus of all mankind looks like this:
To all of you DKEs and SJWs foaming at the mouth, let me help you assuage your concerns about the cultural bias, your confident stupidity told you exists when it comes to intelligence assessment measures. Not that a licensed doctor who has completed at least a 1000 neuropsychological tests would know more than you, of course not, but putting that aside, you should know that me and my colleagues routinely administer non-verbal, culture free (by definition my dear DKE/SJW) intelligence assessment measures along with the Wechsler.
Non-verbal or culture free intelligent assessment measures produce data patterns virtually identical to the Wechsler distribution curve presented above. So most human beings are average or below average when it comes to intelligence, where is the problem?
Seventy-Five percent of the parents of Millennials (born since 1985) believe that their children fall within the 2% range on the right side of the above curve. In other words, these parents believe they gave birth to geniuses. Ponder the absolute pompous arrogance of these parents when they ASSUME their offspring are geniuses. Can it be true that routinely, and as a matter of course, these parents gave birth to budding geniuses? No, it can’t be true.
What makes matters worse, Millennials BELIEVED the lies told to them by their delusional, covetous and status-seeking parents. The documented and replicable evidence is crystal clear: 84% of everybody on earth possesses average or below average intelligence.
Equal opportunity and democracy do not and, in fact, cannot affirm the fallacy that all of us are born with equal potential to do anything we want. The long disproven notion of being born a Tabula Rasa translates into the fact that we arrive on earth with varying degrees of potential for coordination, intelligence, looks, height, weight, eye color and a myriad of other God or nature given qualities, traits and predispositions.
To believe that Kobe Bryant was born with the same basketball- playing potential as the late Gary Coleman is a delusional belief; but that is EXACTLY what SJWs and DKE’s would FORCE you to believe and want to be enforced. Heritability is NOT the same as inevitability. What does that mean? Let me answer using an earlier made example regarding obesity. Being born with a tendency to be fat does NOT mean, in the vast majority of instances, that you are destined to be fat. You have within you the ability to modify your predispositions with behavioral modifications. As I used to say to patients seeking plastic surgery: We can help make you the prettiest you can be but we will NOT be able to make you into Marilyn Monroe who, after being dead for over a half-century, is still regarded as one of the most beautiful women ever born.
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that when psychologists, with no medical training, first learn about genetic predispositions, especially with regard to the heritability coefficients for intelligence, they often go into a fanatical fit of denial and begin to spout rationalizations, excuses and defense positions dressed up in the lies inherent in statistical manipulation. If psychologists would stop to think, for just one moment, they would realize that BECAUSE intelligence is highly heritable (as high as 70% in some very well done studies), psychologist’s interventions, thus psychology itself, become even MORE important, NOT less!
Follow me dear psychologists: Most people want to maximize their intelligence. Since they can’t go back and change the genetics of their great grand parents, grand parents and parents, the ONLY thing they have left to help them achieve their IQ enhancing desires are a number of brain developing behavioral strategies to help them reach their potential.
The myth of environmental stimuli having the ability to turn EVERY child into the next Steve Jobs is lunacy. This delusional belief has been horribly destructive to those this lie was told and to our culture as a whole, i.e., virtually everyone living in the West. However, we CAN behaviorally help any one person to reach their genetic potential, and that is no minor achievement.
God didn’t make all that many Steve Jobs, Ronald Reagans, JFKs or Doctors Watson and Crick. Why the average person feels entitled or expects to be or tries to be the next Jobs, Reagan, etc., is a symptom of The Progressive Virus and the psychobabbledigookers who sell average people their services with the promise that they can actually do that, that is, take an average child and turn them into the next Steve Jobs.
If you were to ask me what one idea or notion could I inculcate into children in order to virtually guarantee that they will grow up to be dissatisfied, unhappy and ignorant, it would be to encourage average children to believe in the idea that it is their destiny to be the greatest, not great mind you, the GREATEST. “You’re special.” “You can be anything you want to be.” Word to the wise: Specialness is not something you are, it is something you DO and ACHIEVE with what you were born with.
What all of this confident stupidity boils down to is a seething, covetous jealousy to be superior to your fellow man. Absent the God given and exceptionally rare ability to be a stellar performer, average men resort to using mobs, governments, PC rules, cabals and legacy or other affirmative action gambits to get a leg up on their fellow man. That is how psychobabbledigookers like Tony Robbins or Jack Rosenberg (EST) have fleeced the covetous, ambitious AND average man to buy their snake oil. It is why there are Progressive politicians and voters who believe that these same Progressive politicians will confiscate the wealth of the stellar performers and give it to them; thus, we’ll all be the same. If it were not believed by the DKE’s of this world, it would be Monty Python-level hilarious.
That particular TPV delusion is why teachers are revered and get away with murder by and through their unions. The reason covetous and overly ambitious taxpayer parents put up with teacher’s unions is because of this delusion that intelligence can be conveyed into their average child by a teacher. This delusion exists in a state of cognitive dissonance with that same covetous parent’s knowledge about how Lincoln attended a one-room schoolhouse, lit by candle light, with few textbooks and certainly no iPads or how our greatest writers in history hand wrote their classic tomes having been schooled without computers, tutors, Sesame Street, PBS and WITH corporal punishment.
Readers might ask IF I think my monograph will make one iota of difference to any DKE or those infected with TPV. No, I don’t think anything that I can say or do will make a dent in the feel good delusions promulgated by TPV or the ever-growing number of DKE’ers on social media.
I’m writing for that one special person who may have been born one of the masses but never really belonged in or to that demographic. I’m writing for and to those VERY few who sense something is wrong but can’t quite put their finger on exactly what was wrong. I’m writing for those VERY few who are good students, who know they are students and know how to say “thank you.”