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Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
Synopses & Reviews
One need not look far to find breathtaking acts of stupidity committed by people who are smart, or even brilliant. The behavior of smart individuals — from presidents to prosecutors to professors — is at times so amazingly stupid as to seem inexplicable. Why do otherwise intelligent people think and behave in ways so stupid that they sometimes destroy their livelihoods or even their lives?
This book is the first devoted to investigating what the most current psychological research can tell us about stupidity in everyday life. The contributors to the volume, renowned scholars in various areas of human intelligence, present fascinating examples of people messing up their lives, and they offer insights into the reasons for such behavior. From a variety of perspectives, the contributors discuss:
? The nature and theory of stupidity
? How stupidity contributes to stupid behavior
? Whether stupidity is measurable
While many millions of dollars are spent each year on intelligence research and testing to determine who has the ability to succeed, next to nothing is spent to determine who will make use of their intelligence and not squander it by behaving stupidly. Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid focuses on the neglected side of this discussion, reviewing the full range of theory and research on stupid behavior and analyzing what it tells us about how people can avoid stupidity and its devastating consequences.
An investigation of psychological research to see what it can tell us about stupidity in everyday life. The contributors to the volume, scholars in various areas of human intelligence, present examples of people messing up their lives, and they offer insights into the reasons for such behaviour.
Why do intelligent people sometimes behave in ways so stupid that they destroy their livelihoods or even their lives? This book is the first to investigate the psychological basis for stupidity in everyday life. Experts shed light on the nature and theory of stupidity, whether stupidity is measurable, how people can avoid stupidity and its devastating consequences, and much more.
About the Author
Robert J. Sternberg is IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, and director of PACE, the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise at Yale University. He is the author or editor of some sixty books and a widely known expert on intelligence testing.
Table of Contents
1 Why and When Are Smart People Stupid? 1
2 Beliefs That Make Smart People Dumb 24
3 Smart People Doing Dumb Things: The Case of Managerial Incompetence 42
4 The Engine of Folly 64
5 When Smart People Behave Stupidly: Reconciling Inconsistencies in Social-Emotional Intelligence 86
6 Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes: The Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal 106
7 Rationality, Intelligence, and Levels of Analysis in Cognitive Science: Is Dysrationalia Possible? 124
8 Smart Is as Stupid Does: Exploring Bases of Erroneous Reasoning of Smart People Regarding Learning and Other Disabilities 159
9 Personality Dispositions 187
10 When "Stupid" Is Smarter Than We Are: Mindlessness and the Attribution of Stupidity 212
11 Smart People Are Not Stupid, But They Sure Can Be Foolish: The Imbalance Theory of Foolishness 232
List of Contributors 243
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