Skip to comments.People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say
Posted on 02/28/2012 8:11:50 PM PST by Olog-hai
The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.
The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.
As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, "very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people dont have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is," Dunning told Life's Little Mysteries.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
I’m pretty sure the sub-title to this article is “Scientists aren’t smart enough to come up with something better”
That’s why we’re an effing REPUBLIC!
He’s close. It’s that University Deans and boards aren’t smart enough to attract professors that have common sense.
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner.
“People” are smart enough, they are just ignorant of facts because they are busy trying to provide for their families and don’t have government grants paying their freight.
It’s all a case of rule of law versus rule of man. These “scientists” are obviously advocating for the latter.
I’ve heard that one before. What’s the standing of sheep and wolves in a republic, again?
So that’s why we got Obama when it was so obvious?
1. no resume
2. been in the Senate for two years
3. most left record in Senate (Do you want this guy to be President of ALL the people?) ah... NO!!!!!!
4. won over hillary by being the “anti-war” candidate because
he was in state senate in 2003
A monkey could have figured out what a disaster Obama would be.
Even if you are FOR single payer, did you really want one party social
change, the total overturning of the House, and a near Civil War,
and the Supreme COurt hearing for 6 hours Obamacare???
What an A-HOLE we have as President.
What an A-HOLE.
at least FDR was a war leader.
LOL, probably the same. It would just take longer with bipartisan support.
That’s it, I’m in, sign me up for a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Wait, isn’t that like democracy except only the union leaders get to vote? I guess we’ll gust have to follow King Obama, he’ll know what to do.
This is why government should be as limited as possible.
This is why government should be as limited as possible. The markets can handle the rest.
Even if government were composed of super-geniuses, it would become rampantly dysfunctional. Problems of bounded rationality, etc. make every sort of central planning unsustainable.
Only have to take a look at the technocracy over in Europe to verify that.
Uh, hate to bring this up, but the USA is a Republic, not a democracy.
If you read the article, it attacks the republican form of government and its processes as well.
Actually it sounds like they are describing our current administration. We must vote them out as soon as possible since they are “incompetent people”!
“Thats it, Im in, sign me up for a Dictatorship of the Proletariat”
As long as I can be The Dictator then I’m fine with it. Otherwise, we’re gonna have to make other arrangements. ;-)
This is verwy series.
Wad we gonna do nows?
I know...we does coin flip!
This how we pick which scientist dude get to pick leader!
MY Bad. I forgot to thank you for the thread. My apologies to you.
My comments were directed only at the author of the article.
I did read the article twice, but found no mention of a republic or of a republic style of government.
I thought that the last paragraph revealed the author’s true interests.
Interesting this “research” didn’t come out just after Obama was elected.
There’s a bit too much conflation of the words “democracy” (which is supposed to mean “rule of the people”) and “republic” (a very-abused term by the Marxists, ever since the R in USSR) that not too many except the most informed can know what the USA’s Founding Fathers intended. Boils down to the rule of law versus the rule of man, of course. The “scientists” engaged in these “studies” are evidently wannabe technocrats that prefer the rule of man, which is tyranny.
However dubious the research methods may be ... if you doubt the results may I present to your attention the current Commander in Chief of these United States, then the person who is second in line to succeed him, then the person who is third, then the person in fourth place. Finally I’d like to present to woman who takes the fifth position in the line of succession. I rest my case.
I wonder if smarty pants fell for the man made global warming hoax? I bet he did.
In other news: 95% of people believe they are smarter than average.
What is lacking in the article is mention of the rarest of all human qualities: COMMON SENSE.
I was not a fan of Veep Spiro Agnew, but he did hit the nail on the head, from time to time. To wit: “They are a bunch of pointy-headed, pseudo-intellectuals, who can’t even park a bicycle straight!”
Sums up, very nicely, my opinion of the “pointy-heads” in the article.
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
- H. L. Mencken
>> For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.
What a load of crap. Title equally idiotic.
I guess I’ll cut the author some slack given she’s a woman.
I happen to believe in the American people and the Republic. We may get some things wrong but better rule by the people and for the people then by those who think they know what’s best for us. Actually most of what ticks me off in government is from people thinking they know what’s best for everyone.
People MAY be smart enough, but they are too celebrity infatuated with their electronic distractions and entertainment addictions may be a better way to term it.
Even the Presidential campaign is little more than a high-stakes American Idol to many. Another sign is the daily polls, multiple polls, which are the political equivalent of ESPN’s sport’s desk reporting the scores.
The people are getting the govt. they deserve.
Very good. :) They do lack common sense and that is why their “smart” ideas fail in the real world.
To prove how wrong this guy is, consider who America has chosen as President and the wonderful job they’ve done in choosing Congressmen.
I don’t see how these professors could come to the conclusion that most Americans are idiots.
A country cannot be free without the Spirit of the Lord. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
Meanwhile, you’ve got crusaders on the left pushing for so-called “voting rights” for convicted criminals. Funny that they push for this on one hand and they have their pseudoscientists declaring that this selfsame segment of society (which is actually outside society) is not competent to exercise this “right” that they’re fighting to give them. Doublethink at its most devious.
For example, on math tests, smart students underestimated their actual scores by 5-10%, while dumber students overestimated their scores by 25-40%, so your statement about how 95% of people think they're above average isn't that far off!
I hate to keep repeating myself, but the US is a republic with representative democracy as its form of government. One does not precluse the other. One can have a republic with a dictatorship as well.
Only taxpayers should vote.
I'll bet you this guy voted for Obama. Therefore, he has proved his own incompetence.
Do you think he realizes this?
No they're not! They are attacking the people who vote in the republican form of government. Judging by the people who have been elected to Congress time after time, I can agree heartily with the author.
We are sitting in a political cesspool ONLY because of stupid voters.
Completely false. I suppose it's my fault that I didn't post the last paragraph of the article . . . ?
No they're not! They are attacking the people who vote in the republican form of government
(Sociologist Mato) Nagel concluded that democracies rarely or never elect the best leaders. Their advantage over dictatorships or other forms of government is merely that they "effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders."The same conclusion extends of course to republics.
This country does have unelected tyrants, sad to say; those being activist judges that don’t interpret the Constitution according to what is written there, creating “penumbrae” out of thin air and worse. How do we get rid of people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who openly hate the Constitution and have said so? and how could people in the past gotten rid of judges like Earl Warren? Checks and balances out the window.
Do you know so little of the Constitution?
Congress can impeach judges - even Supreme Court Justices. That they have not chosen to do so is not an indication that there is not a check and a balance on SCOTUS legal interpretation.
If your beef with an elected Republican form of government is that there are unelected judges - do you think ELECTED judges would decide the law more justly - or would they base their decisions on what was popular?
Do you think judges deciding the law based upon popular opinion would be a good thing?
“...not smart enough to consistenct vote the liberal/progressive ticket”
is what I’m sure they meant to say....
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