How to protect yourself from human stupidity?

Intelligence and stupidity are not the opposite of one another, nor is stupidity the lack of intelligence, but intelligence is the product, more or less unsuccessful, of a continuous series of attempts to dominate, or escape, the stupidity that constitutes everything that is human”, wrote Matthijs Van Boxsel.

Beyond labeling people, it is important to understand the risks that represents stupidity. Actually, we can all behave stupidly, if we don’t measure the scope of our actions or words. If we don’t develop a critical thinking and forget the necessary introspection, we can become victims of stupidity, suffering it or exercising it.

A very interesting study conducted at the Eötvös Loránd University gives us other clues to gain self-consciousness determining the 3 causes of human stupidity:

1. Ignorance or overconfidence. It would be the highest degree of stupidity and appears in people who take risks of any kind, although they lack the skills or knowledge necessary to face them.

2. Lack of control. It’s a medium degree of stupidity that corresponds to impulsive people, who lack self-control and act letting themselves be carried away by the first impulse.

3. Distraction. It would be the slightest degree of stupidity, which manifests itself in those who fail to achieve something because they don’t pay attention or don’t allocate sufficient resources, struggling uselessly.


Acze, B. et. Al. (2015) What is stupid? People’s conception of unintelligent behavior. Intelligence; 53: 51-58.

Cipolla, C. M. (1988) Allegro ma non troppo.Barcelona: Crítica.

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