People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say
Posted on: 2012-10-18 17:29:23
In our current age of media represented special interests, political correctness and substandard education is it any wonder those who exploit the levers of power did not see this very outcome? Moreover, where in the founding documents does it say the United States is a democracy?~Ed.
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 donít have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is," Dunning told Life's Little Mysteries.