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People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say
LiveScience.com ^ | 28 February 2012 | Natalie Wolchover

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 don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is," Dunning told Life's Little Mysteries. …

(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Miscellaneous; Science; Society
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"Incompetent people" . . . ? Sounds like something out of National Socialist propaganda.

Please remember that articles like this are also attacking the republican form of government.
1 posted on 02/28/2012 8:11:53 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

I’m pretty sure the sub-title to this article is “Scientists aren’t smart enough to come up with something better”


2 posted on 02/28/2012 8:15:45 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (Burning the Quran is a waste of perfectly good fire.)
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To: Olog-hai

That’s why we’re an effing REPUBLIC!


3 posted on 02/28/2012 8:16:13 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ( "It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Olog-hai

He’s close. It’s that University Deans and boards aren’t smart enough to attract professors that have common sense.


4 posted on 02/28/2012 8:17:39 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Hoosier-Daddy

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner.


5 posted on 02/28/2012 8:20:43 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (The democratic party is the greatest cargo cult in history.)
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To: Olog-hai

“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.


6 posted on 02/28/2012 8:20:46 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ( "It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy

It’s all a case of rule of law versus rule of man. These “scientists” are obviously advocating for the latter.


7 posted on 02/28/2012 8:21:34 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

I’ve heard that one before. What’s the standing of sheep and wolves in a republic, again?


8 posted on 02/28/2012 8:22:33 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: DannyTN

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.


9 posted on 02/28/2012 8:24:40 PM PST by preamble
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To: Olog-hai

LOL, probably the same. It would just take longer with bipartisan support.


10 posted on 02/28/2012 8:33:54 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (The democratic party is the greatest cargo cult in history.)
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To: Olog-hai

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.


11 posted on 02/28/2012 8:36:16 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: Olog-hai

This is why government should be as limited as possible.


12 posted on 02/28/2012 8:50:20 PM PST by Utmost Certainty (Our Enemy, the State | Gingrich 2012)
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To: Olog-hai

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.


13 posted on 02/28/2012 8:52:58 PM PST by Utmost Certainty (Our Enemy, the State | Gingrich 2012)
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To: Utmost Certainty

Only have to take a look at the technocracy over in Europe to verify that.


14 posted on 02/28/2012 8:56:04 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Uh, hate to bring this up, but the USA is a Republic, not a democracy.


15 posted on 02/28/2012 9:02:03 PM PST by Graewoulf (( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Graewoulf

If you read the article, it attacks the republican form of government and its processes as well.


16 posted on 02/28/2012 9:05:08 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Actually it sounds like they are describing our current administration. We must vote them out as soon as possible since they are “incompetent people”!


17 posted on 02/28/2012 9:13:18 PM PST by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: JimSEA

“That’s it, I’m 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. ;-)


18 posted on 02/28/2012 9:13:49 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: All

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!


19 posted on 02/28/2012 9:19:21 PM PST by right way right (What's it gonna take?)
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To: Olog-hai

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.


20 posted on 02/28/2012 9:19:33 PM PST by Graewoulf (( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Olog-hai

Interesting this “research” didn’t come out just after Obama was elected.


21 posted on 02/28/2012 9:22:19 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Graewoulf

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.


22 posted on 02/28/2012 9:24:00 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

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.


23 posted on 02/28/2012 9:25:11 PM PST by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: Olog-hai
These people are really into supremacy ideology and eugenics. Great combination with total control over the government. No wonder they want to disarm the people they aim to murder and enslave.

I wonder if smarty pants fell for the man made global warming hoax? I bet he did.

24 posted on 02/28/2012 9:25:22 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Olog-hai

In other news: 95% of people believe they are smarter than average.


25 posted on 02/28/2012 9:36:52 PM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: SaraJohnson

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.


26 posted on 02/28/2012 9:43:30 PM PST by Graewoulf (( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Olog-hai

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

- H. L. Mencken


27 posted on 02/28/2012 9:45:53 PM PST by Dr.Deth
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To: Olog-hai

>> 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.


28 posted on 02/28/2012 9:47:09 PM PST by Gene Eric (Newt/Sarah 2012)
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To: Olog-hai

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.


29 posted on 02/28/2012 9:50:47 PM PST by dog breath
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To: Hoosier-Daddy

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.


30 posted on 02/28/2012 9:57:50 PM PST by wrencher
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To: Graewoulf

Very good. :) They do lack common sense and that is why their “smart” ideas fail in the real world.


31 posted on 02/28/2012 9:58:00 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Olog-hai

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.


32 posted on 02/28/2012 10:11:30 PM PST by cydcharisse (`)
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To: Olog-hai
That is why we need to at least raise the voting age and require competency in English. Literacy tests would be a very good idea also. The electorate is the first level of govt, and while every citizen should enjoy full civil rights, the sad fact is not every citizen is educated, experienced, and responsible enough to be qualified to vote. Universal suffrage is not a good idea, it disenfranchises the reflective, analytical, informed, tax-paying, voters — who are the only citizens who should be voting. That being said, a person who can demonstrate that he has the ability to hold a job, can advance in his career, speaks and reads English well, has a good understanding of how our govt and our society function, has enough life experience to understand what makes people tick, and leads a responsible life, is likely to have the skills to be an informed and intelligent voter. So what if he does not completely understand every single complex issue he faces, no one does! What that responsible person does have are the skills necessary to evaluate and hire an expert. Those skills will carry over into the voting booth.
33 posted on 02/28/2012 10:30:53 PM PST by erkelly (Never underestimate the stupidity of the stupid party!)
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To: Olog-hai
The democratic process according to George Washington: ”Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.

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

34 posted on 02/28/2012 10:33:16 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!)
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To: erkelly

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.


35 posted on 02/28/2012 10:40:46 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: stars & stripes forever
Paul Johnson, in the Sunday Telegraph article No Law Without Order, No Freedom Without Law, called the USA “an experiment designed to establish the rule of God on earth” . . . how many people in the US believe that today?
36 posted on 02/28/2012 10:48:19 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Born to Conserve
There was actually a very good study published several years ago that showed that more competent people didn't think they were as smart as they actually were, and that dumber people thought they were much smarter than they actually were.

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!

37 posted on 02/28/2012 11:00:28 PM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Graewoulf

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.


38 posted on 02/28/2012 11:07:55 PM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Olog-hai
Only property owners should vote.

Only taxpayers should vote.

39 posted on 02/29/2012 2:37:03 AM PST by The Truth Will Make You Free
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To: Olog-hai
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.

I'll bet you this guy voted for Obama. Therefore, he has proved his own incompetence.

Do you think he realizes this?

40 posted on 02/29/2012 3:53:16 AM PST by JohnG45
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To: Olog-hai
Please remember that articles like this are also attacking the republican form of government.

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.

41 posted on 02/29/2012 6:38:17 AM PST by GingisK
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To: Olog-hai
I would put the list of elected leaders up against a list of unelected tyrants and laugh in the face of anyone who suggested that the people were idiots for electing Winston Churchill but brilliant for allowing the Ayatollah Khomeini to rise to power.
42 posted on 02/29/2012 6:54:17 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: GingisK

No they're not! They are attacking the people who vote in the republican form of government
Completely false. I suppose it's my fault that I didn't post the last paragraph of the article . . . ?
(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.
43 posted on 02/29/2012 7:51:16 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: allmendream

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.


44 posted on 02/29/2012 8:06:53 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

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?


45 posted on 02/29/2012 9:13:45 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
We haven't been a republic for a long time now. The franchise is to open. The original constitution had a very limited franchise for a reason.
46 posted on 02/29/2012 11:45:47 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Olog-hai

“...not smart enough to consistenct vote the liberal/progressive ticket”

is what I’m sure they meant to say....


47 posted on 02/29/2012 11:48:06 AM PST by mo
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To: Olog-hai
"No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 5
48 posted on 02/29/2012 11:50:39 AM PST by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: allmendream
Think about the status quo that has resulted from the fact that activist judges are not accountable to the people. An elected politician that deceived his electorate and participated in the appointment of an activist judge—would such have the propensity to impeach the very justice he got into the SCOTUS? Now if I'm not mistaken, even the USSR's Supreme Soviet had such powers over the Politburo as the Congress has over the SCOTUS; but communism encourages lack of morality. All down to accountability, which a republic is supposed to preserve.

AIR, the notion of appointed Supreme Court justices was as a shield in the case of their making unpopular decisions—but all of the unpopular decisions that have been taken in that branch of government have been in favor of the left, not in favor of preserving the rule of law as delineated within the Constitution. Nowadays, we have justices such as this one who openly trashes the very Constitution that she swore by oath to protect—and she was not elected.

This is not a problem I have with the republican form of government; this is a problem I have with the abuse of power within its framework, and the violation of the oaths taken to protect and preserve the rule of law as the Constitution is supposed to keep intact.
49 posted on 02/29/2012 12:59:27 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Jack of all Trades
Very scary. Sounds eerily like a recent speech by Herman van Rompuy over in the European Union, where he declared that national governments are de-facto European institutions . . .
50 posted on 02/29/2012 1:02:14 PM PST by Olog-hai
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