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Scientists have discovered that people aren't smart enough for democracy to work Watch

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    http://news.yahoo.com/people-arent-s...185601411.html

    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.

    He and colleague Justin Kruger, formerly of Cornell and now of New York University, have demonstrated again and again that people are self-delusional when it comes to their own intellectual skills. Whether the researchers are testing people's ability to rate the funniness of jokes, the correctness of grammar, or even their own performance in a game of chess, the duo has found that people always assess their own performance as "above average" — even people who, when tested, actually perform at the very bottom of the pile. [Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It]

    We're just as undiscerning about the skills of others as about ourselves. "To the extent that you are incompetent, you are a worse judge of incompetence in other people," Dunning said. In one study, the researchers asked students to grade quizzes that tested for grammar skill. "We found that students who had done worse on the test itself gave more inaccurate grades to other students." Essentially, they didn't recognize the correct answer even when they saw it.

    The reason for this disconnect is simple: "If you have gaps in your knowledge in a given area, then you’re not in a position to assess your own gaps or the gaps of others," Dunning said. Strangely though, in these experiments, people tend to readily and accurately agree on who the worst performers are, while failing to recognize the best performers.

    The most incompetent among us serve as canaries in the coal mine signifying a larger quandary in the concept of democracy; truly ignorant people may be the worst judges of candidates and ideas, Dunning said, but we all suffer from a degree of blindness stemming from our own personal lack of expertise.

    Mato Nagel, a sociologist in Germany, recently implemented Dunning and Kruger's theories by computer-simulating a democratic election. In his mathematical model of the election, he assumed that voters' own leadership skills were distributed on a bell curve — some were really good leaders, some, really bad, but most were mediocre — and that each voter was incapable of recognizing the leadership skills of a political candidate as being better than his or her own. When such an election was simulated, candidates whose leadership skills were only slightly better than average always won.

    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."

    This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover.


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    This is what I've thought for ages - we've got a lot of ****ing idiots in the world and they all get just as much of a say in what happens as anyone else, and then we wonder why everything's a mess. This is also why I've never voted, I don't know enough either.
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    The fact that research has actually been done into it verifies its conclusion.
    If people weren't so stupid, they'd have already come to said conclusion.
    I'm fairly sure this is a common realisation among people with an IQ above 100.
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    i thought that this was a given??? if you dont know what youre talking about, you cant then judge over people....its like getting a biology grad student to assess the lecture of a physics professor. they can comment on presentation skills and slide layout, but not on the actual content. however, if the bio student were asked to assess a lectures from 5 professors, about similar/same topics, then they would be able to compare them against eachother and think, right number 3 explained this bit really well, but number 5 had excellent slides compared to the rest. when people look at political candidates, they are comparing them against eachother. it doesnt matter a great deal how good they all are individually, just how they stand up against eachother.

    i think this is a completely irrelevant article...
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    "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill
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    I assume these are the same Dunning and Kruger from the Dunning-Kruger effect, which covers a similar area of psychology (that people are incapable of properly evaluating their own expertise). Very interesting, and not terribly surprising.

    Democracy has always been on shaky footing from an intellectual stand point - it relies on an informed public engaged in politics, which most nations don't have anything close to. Its underpinning is that people are recognised to have the right to decide their own government, even if their ability to do so is flawed. Apathy and ignorance are the enemies of democracy.
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    (Original post by Julius2013)
    http://news.yahoo.com/people-arent-s...185601411.html

    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.

    He and colleague Justin Kruger, formerly of Cornell and now of New York University, have demonstrated again and again that people are self-delusional when it comes to their own intellectual skills. Whether the researchers are testing people's ability to rate the funniness of jokes, the correctness of grammar, or even their own performance in a game of chess, the duo has found that people always assess their own performance as "above average" — even people who, when tested, actually perform at the very bottom of the pile. [Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It]

    We're just as undiscerning about the skills of others as about ourselves. "To the extent that you are incompetent, you are a worse judge of incompetence in other people," Dunning said. In one study, the researchers asked students to grade quizzes that tested for grammar skill. "We found that students who had done worse on the test itself gave more inaccurate grades to other students." Essentially, they didn't recognize the correct answer even when they saw it.

    The reason for this disconnect is simple: "If you have gaps in your knowledge in a given area, then you’re not in a position to assess your own gaps or the gaps of others," Dunning said. Strangely though, in these experiments, people tend to readily and accurately agree on who the worst performers are, while failing to recognize the best performers.

    The most incompetent among us serve as canaries in the coal mine signifying a larger quandary in the concept of democracy; truly ignorant people may be the worst judges of candidates and ideas, Dunning said, but we all suffer from a degree of blindness stemming from our own personal lack of expertise.

    Mato Nagel, a sociologist in Germany, recently implemented Dunning and Kruger's theories by computer-simulating a democratic election. In his mathematical model of the election, he assumed that voters' own leadership skills were distributed on a bell curve — some were really good leaders, some, really bad, but most were mediocre — and that each voter was incapable of recognizing the leadership skills of a political candidate as being better than his or her own. When such an election was simulated, candidates whose leadership skills were only slightly better than average always won.

    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."

    This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover.


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    I maintain that in general democracy is better than dictatorship, or at least stabler, thus promoting market confidence and hopefully making life better for the people of the country.

    If you suppose democracy is as good as it gets, that means we ought to ameliorate the above situation by the following means:
    - Basic political and economic education in secondary schools.
    - Move to a more proportional electoral system so there are more diverse voting options, as well as more competition.
    - More technocrats and less populists in government, so less career politicians and more people who are experts in other fields.
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    Common sense would tell you that
 
 
 
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