Are Trump Supporters Too Stupid To Know They’re Stupid? Science Says They “Probably” Are



If you are vehemently opposed to Trump and have ever gotten into with one of his supporters, sometimes one can come away dumbfounded at how anyone can believe the man. The qualities you may find repulsive in Trump could be the very ones his admirers love best about him. It’s almost like they are blind to the truth, and to the fact that he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that his views are not only ignorant, but are very dangerous as well. When you propose the truth- no matter how glaring it can be, many of his fans willfully turn a blind eye.

“His fans simply take his word for it, and believe that because he knows, they know. They are literally incapable of seeing that they don’t know.”

Dare I say it… are Trump fans too dumb to know that they are dumb? Scientifically speaking, it is quite possible.

Rika Christensen of AddictingInfo asks the following:

How the hell can anybody call themselves intelligent when they’re supporting Donald Trump? It’s a question that baffles people who are able to think critically, able to read and comprehend both history and current events, and able to see through Trump’s thin façade of know-it-all-ism and deep into what he is – an ignorant, narcissistic, and dangerous conman.

Trump supporters not only don’t see this, they’re happy that there’s someone running for president that thinks exactly like them. Take Melanie Austin, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. She thought her beliefs about Obama being a gay Muslim from Kenya and Michelle being transgender were just fringe beliefs – right up until she started hearing similar stuff from Trump and other right-wing extremists.

She adds that “she knows she’s right about all of this” but “there’s more to this than the problem of confirmation bias.”

Austin gets much of her information from fringe right-wing blogs and conspiracy sites, but that’s not all of it. Many of Trump’s supporters are seriously too dumb to know they’re dumb. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it’s an unshakeable illusion that you’re much smarter, and more skilled and/or knowledgeable, than you really are.

People like Austin labor under the illusion that their knowledge about things is at least as good as, if not better than, the actual facts. For these people, though, their knowledge isn’t just superior – it’s superior even to those who have intimate and detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. Trump himself has exemplified this countless times, such as when he claimed he knows more about ISIS than even our military generals do.

Christensen notes that “the Dunning-Kruger effect is present everyone all across the political spectrum, and indeed, in every walk of life.”

The effect, however, is particularly pronounced “in people with limited intellectual and social skills,” Christensen notes.

“[P]eople who are unskilled in [intellectual and social domains] suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

In short: this is what happens when people are too stupid to even realize they are stupid.

In four separate studies, people who scored in the bottom quarter on tests involving everything from humor to logic, and even to grammar, grossly overestimated where they thought they would score. They averaged scores in the 12th percentile, while their average estimate of their own scores was the 62nd percentile.

The researchers attribute that huge discrepancy to a literal inability to distinguish accuracy from error. Or, to put it another way, those who are the most lacking in skills and knowledge are the least able to see it.


David Dunning, one of the first to comment on the Dunning-Kruger effect – from where it derives its name – has studied human behavior for decades. One of those behaviors is voting patterns. Relative to this, he penned an op-ed in Politico explaining why this effect manifests in Trump’s supporters in such a pronounced manner.

“It suggests that some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes. They fail to recognize those gaffes as missteps.

Despite having xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic views. It seems Trump can do no wrong. When confronted that these views are dangerous and dangerous to the American people, his fans just say “He tells it like it is”, or “He has a plan”, even though he really doesn’t. He has changed options like the wind, take the Obama birther movement for example having retracted his belief that Present Obama was foreign born. He plants ideas in people’s heads to pander to them- only to retract his statements when he sees fit. His followers however, often stick to the original story.  It is scary that in desperation to seek for a better America, many are looking to Trump.

… Again, the key to the Dunning-Kruger Effect is not that unknowledgeable voters are uninformed; it is that they are often misinformed—their heads filled with false data, facts and theories that can lead to misguided conclusions held with tenacious confidence and extreme partisanship, perhaps some that make them nod in agreement with Trump at his rallies.”

Trump is completely inept, and his supporters are way too poorly-informed to know that he’s inept, and too dumb themselves to know how dumb they are. That’s why Trump’s supporters are so sure they’re smart and their candidate is smart that they won’t listen to reason. The effect is strong in these people.

Do you think Trump supporters are actually too dumb to know that they are dumb? If you are a Trump supporter- how do you feel about being labeled this way? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

(Article by Tasha Sharifa; and M. David; h/t Addicting Info)

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