Why do dumb people always vote for terrible candidates? It’s because they’re dumb! This is according to new scientific studies, according to some website:

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.

Well, this explains why Republicans won’t vote for the “idea man” in their primary, Professor Smart Fellow Newt Gingrich. Just kidding, Gingrich is an idiot, too. [Life’s Little Mysteries]

Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • nounverb911

    Maybe they should have gone to college.

  • Barb

    Yes and the GOP wants these people to have as many dumb white babies as we can crank out, watering down the population even more.

    • FNMA

      Brawndo has what plants crave!

      • And Bondo + primer for Camaro knaves.

        • Barb

          Yeah, their cars do seem to be held together with primer and compressed rust, eh?

    • GOPCrusher

      Let's stop at Starbucks.
      We don't have time for a handjob, Joe.

  • FNMA

    Is this guy the Dunning of Dunning-Kruger Effect fame? If so, can we appeal to him to re-name it Sarah Palin Disease? Like Lou Gehrig Disease.

    • Yes, it is and no they won't. "Sarah Palin" disease is already named after Narcissus.

      • RadioCualquier

        Or hookworm infestation.

  • chascates

    Darwin FTW.

    • ChernobylSoup

      Yeah, but then we went and invented helmets.

      • Eggzactly. Needz moar Darwin Award winners.

  • neiltheblaze

    They settle it by deciding which politician they want to have a beer with – or in Romney's case, a fine Merlot.

    • widestanceromance

      Mittens is a WD-40 man–never mix, never worry.

    • proudgrampa

      Actually, I heard a Salt Lake City TV reporter say that the Romney campaign broke out the Martinelli's last night.

      Not my kind of people.

      • Geminisunmars

        Elitists! Now Nehi, that's my kind of celebratory beverage.

        • ShaveTheWhales

          Rmoney prefers Nephi.

          • GOPCrusher

            Didn't Radar O'Reilly always drink grape Nephi?

  • paris biltong

    So in other words, forget about democracy, it sucks. Thought so.

    • CommieLibunatic

      When I say I welcome our future robot overlords, I'm only half kidding.

    • occams8ball

      I have a rather compelling argument framing in detail how completely wrong you are, but i doubt you would even try to understand it.

  • edgydrifter

    Only an idiot can convincingly sound smart to another idiot. Genuinely smart people sound insane to most Americans.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Or, worse yet, boring.

  • Better to be dumb than indoctrinated.

    • ElPinche


  • PuckStopsHere

    As George Carlin said: "Think about how dumb the average person is. Now consider the fact that half the people are dumber than that…"

  • BerkeleyBear

    So one has to ask – do we just file this away under "that's why our so-called leaders suck!" or can we use it some way? By, say, instructing really competent folks on how to better pander to the moronic majority?

  • nounverb911

    “Gingrich Is The Stupid Man's Idea Of What A Smart Person Sounds Like.”
    –Paul Krugman

  • chicken_thief

    Geesh. I can see both sides of the aisle claiming this as proof positive.

  • MiniMencken

    That professor Dunning, what a snob!

  • ChernobylSoup

    Fancy pants professor has a fancy pants way of saying READ A BOOK.

  • memzilla

    "They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments."

    Great! I can now mentally replace every Rethuglican cheering section for every Rethuglican candidate with the aural image of hundreds of white people chanting in unison:


    It's shamefully satisfying …. and magically delicious!

    • Isn't it more like "We are mental tools"?

    • SorosBot

      I think that is the real meaning of "keep government out of Medicare!"

  • Steverino247

    "Good government demands the intelligent interest of every citizen."

  • hagajim

    "mental tools" – I think we 'Merikans resemble that remark.

    • Trepanning is making a big comeback!

  • freakishlywrong


  • These facts are already obvious to us those who are competent enough to process it, Doctor Dunning. Life's-Little-Mystery-Solving FAIL.

  • MissTaken

    And sadly, God protects babies and fools.

    • SorosBot

      But there are a few Darwin Award winners who have escaped that protection – like those dumbass teens who got themselves eaten by a tiger at the zoo, or the man who was killed by a perforated colon after he got a horse to fuck him.

      • No one said that God doesn't have a sense of humour.

        • OzoneTom

          Only the people who believe in God lack that.

  • On top of that…

    Also, our corporate media tells them lies. For greater corporate profits, on top of that.

    P.S. The table is tilted. The game is rigged.

  • Callyson

    no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them
    Great, now the news media has an excuse to bombard us with even more sensationalism at the expense of actual news coverage. If it bleeds it leads!

  • ElPinche

    Republican Utopia consists of the following:
    * No education, just home schooled bible-based mythology. Scaring children in thinking that an almighty space ghost is watching them all the time keeps those shirtless rickety future dairy queen employees in check.

    * The American workforce is entirely blue collar. All "hard , fancy" technical jobs are overseas. Our little overweight bundles of joy will strive to be sales manager at Lowes or fry supervisor at AppleBees.

    * Jesus all day, every day.

    * All movies to look like "Acts of Valor" , no artsy fartsy or urban movies like Tyler Perry.

    * Whites only management. We like black people, but only if they keep their place. These dumb shits pretty much pick their politicians like they pick their Lowes supervisors. I've worked a hardware store where folks quit because the new supervisor was a chimichanga lovin mexican.

    * Make diabetes the new National pastime.

    • Arizona!

    • RadioCualquier

      * No taxes
      * Mandatory military service– except the Aristocratic Exception.
      * Liberals will be sent to Re-education "Camps"
      *Wonkette???? — Gone.

    • Biff

      You're a credit to your race, whatever race that may be.

      • ElPinche


        • Biff

          Thought so.
          Make me a sandwich tamalé.

          • HistoriCat

            When's he going to mow my lawn?

  • "Life is what happens while people are busy being dumb." — Paul McLennon
    "Life is 10% inspiration, 90% dumb nation." — Yogi Edison
    "The only thing to fear is dumb people itself." — Einstein CHurchill
    "I does not know, I does not know." — Granpa Cain, back-in-the-day

    • "A sucker is born" — P T Cukor

    • "Washington is like Hollywood for dumb people."–Studs Rodgers

    • "60% perspiration, 35% respiration, and 5% deodorant." -Majik Stonejon

  • SorosBot

    Hey, the important thing is that most dumb Americans are still able to make fully rational, informed decisions when voting for who should win American Idol and Dancing With the "Stars".

  • Math is hard! Let's go shopping!

    It's not just for Barbie anymore.

  • Blueb4sunrise

    This comment is dumb.

  • OneYieldRegular

    I don't understand this study.

    Oh dear.

  • SenileAgitation

    Typical elitist snobbish college liberal bullshit. Vaginal ultrasound abortion requirement is a GREAT idea that many who haven't had their conservative beliefs ruined by too much education can see plain as day! It's a pity the self-satisfied so-called smart set can't put down their fondue forks long enough to realize that wisdom isn't something you earn, but something precious you lose when you turn from righteousness to the study carell.

  • Redhead

    In other news, sky is blue, water is wet, and teatards are fat racist fucks.

  • Captain Obvious, PhD.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Little did Mike Judge know that "Idiocracy" was going to end up being a documentary.

  • Your move, Mr. Peabody.

  • The GOP, the party of dumb… as proven by Science.*

    *not really, but pretty damn close.

  • widestanceromance

    I learn so much here. Just yesterday I learned that the rich are black holes of wealth, now I know about the party of KnowNot.

  • DaRooster

    So Idiocracy is real… awesome!

    • GOPCrusher

      Ow! My Balls!

  • proudgrampa

    One of my Poli Sci profs always said that the best form of government was a benevolent dictatorship.

    • I've often offered my services as philosopher-king until this nation can sort itself out. oddly, Congress has never asked.

      • Geminisunmars

        Why don't they welcome their Wonkete overlords??

  • prommie

    Its not what they don't know that makes them dangerous, its what they think they know, that just ain't so.

    Some dude said that one time.

  • Nostrildamus

    Interestingly, the Dunning Kruger effect is largely an American phenomenon. Europeans show little effect and East asian show to opposite effect. My guess is the general American sense of entitlement couples with stupidity to cause the effect.

    • GOPCrusher

      Doesn't help when you have people like Sarah Palin encouraging others to be proud of the fact that they are dumber than a bag of hammers.

      • Biff

        But when a hammer is wielded by a man that can spit nails out pointy end first, well, then you really have something.

  • Academic plagiarism! Ninety-seven years ago Conan Doyle said "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."

    More recently, the other extreme was summarized by no less an academic light than F. Gump (BA, Alabama 1962): "Stupid is as stupid does, sir."

    So why is Cornell paying this Dunning guy? Good indoctrinator, I guess.

    • Yeah but Dunning proved it by wiring up some undergrads and shocking them if they acted smart.

  • It isn't so bad that they are stupid–what is really annoying is that they are so damned proud of their stupidity.

  • WiscDad

    Since I've said that for ohhh…thirty years and some asshole from Cornell finally wrote it down, I want some of the beer money he got to run the study. But I can at least take satisfaction in the fact someone has documented the actual reason for the (relative) success of the Republican Party.

  • Dashboard Buddha

    In related news, the poors shouldn't get to vote…

    • Biff

      Or eat. It's in the bible, somewhere. You can look it up!

    • SorosBot

      And the cretin wants to make getting food with food stamps as humiliating as possible. Fuck him.

      • Dashboard Buddha

        It's the voting thing that gets me…do these people even read the fucking constitution? Sorry…I just answered my own question.

    • GOPCrusher

      Well, to be fair, the poor are only like that because they choose to live that lifestyle.

  • HelmutNewton

    "And, in other news, the Sun rose in the east. And Rick Santorum said something stupid."

  • Biff

    In what world is Davy Jones dead, yet santorum walks among us? I do not wish to dwell in such a world.

    • "At any time/ Or anywhere
      Just look over your shoulder / Guess who won't be standing there!"

  • Doktor Zoom

    "Do we believe in the smart and elite in this country to manage us?"

    Rick Santorum, Michigan Primary not-quite-concession speech

    Hell no! I hate those guys!

    • Not gonna lie, as a person, who knows things about history, that confused the shit out of me, how he jumped between talking about a nation run by the smart and elite, and one of Freedom! As Our Founders Intended.

      Because, yeah, there's no thread of elitism innate in our nation's founding, what with the Electoral Collage, Senate, Representative Democracy rather than Direct Democracy, lifetime Head Judiciary, reasonably strong Executive (at least relative to the Articles of Confederation)… Nothing about that connotes the idea that our elected and appointed representatives are expected to be among our smartest citizens, making laws with judiciousness and wisdom, or anything. Remotely.

      And that's certainly not corroborated in the things the founders wrote about Representative Democracy or the value of education, either.

  • elburritodeluxe

    As an example… Donald Trump thinks that thing on his head is hair.

  • elburritodeluxe

    We should turn Democracy over to our robotic overlords. Like Mitt Romney!

  • pinkocommi

    This study explains everything that is wrong. That is all.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Murdoch has known this for decades … it's what makes Fucks Gnus possible.

    It's what makes confederacies of dunces like the Oklahoma legislature possible.
    And now we have Sanctorum telling us we need even more godbothering homeskooled idiots? (Hey Rick — you know what makes me want to throw up? You.)

  • Biff

    Stupid really should hurt.

  • MinAgain

    Why do dumb people always vote for terrible candidates? It’s because they’re dumb! This is according to new scientific studies.

    I hope they didn't get any tax money for that study.

  • IceCreamEmpress

    The Republican party has tons of mental tools. Every one of them is mental, or a tool, or both.

  • Are they really saying that people inherently unable to judge the competence of other people are somehow lacking in judgement? GAAHHH!

  • ttommyunger

    Wow, dumb people make dumb choices. Who knew? On the other hand, writing about the wetness of water and the warmth of fire is fucking brilliant. I give up.

  • BZ1

    David Dunning, what a snob …

Previous articleMitt Romney Mocks Poor NASCAR Fans In Plastic Rain Ponchos
Next articleVirginians Now Somehow Able To Buy More Guns