Monday, December 28, 2015

Tea Partiers Are Stupid; The Problem Is They Don’t Know It

Okay, let’s not mince words. Right wingers are just dumb. They live in a fact-less world, where made-up stuff flies everywhere. They get their information from FOX, Limbaugh, Beck and other dolts. We on the left know this, but we can’t convince the right of it because the right will not be persuaded by facts, statistics, logic, or science. In other words, the Republican base is adamantly ignorant, proudly so, and proudly unaware of it. This phenomenon has a name—the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Acknowledgment of this phenomenon comes from an article posted by M.E. Miller on Daily Kos. He writes, “The Dunning-Kruger effect comes out of research conducted by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University since 1999. Over the years, Dunning and Kruger have conducted studies over a wide range of cognitive tasks. Following the skill assessment, subjects are shown their results, and then asked to rate their performance on a percentile basis. What they have found is that those performing well — say, 65th %ile and higher — exhibit a quite accurate assessment of where they placed, while those who do more poorly are unaware of their own poor performance. In fact, those who do quite badly, say at the 15th %ile, tend to overestimate their relative skill by 50% or more.

"A way to summarize these results is to say that those who are truly stupid are too stupid to realize that they are stupid. As Dunning has put it, slightly less colorfully:
If you're incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.… [T]he skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

"This explains quite a lot about our world, especially about the limitations on our ability to propagate a reality-based worldview. It explains nearly the whole phenomenon of Fox News and its viewers.”

As Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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