This is a Speculation on Human Stupidity.

What is the probability that a given human will do something stupid?

I believe there is a simple mathematical relationship that can predict the likelihood of human stupidity, or its specific realization The Stupid Action (SA).

Where PSA is the Probability of Stupid Action (SA).

Human Stupidity runs in reverse proportion to an individual’s level of self awareness, self esteem and experience.

Calculating the Probability of Stupid Action (SA)

The likelihood of Stupid Action (SA) can be predicted by looking at

  1. SelfAware = the deviation between a person’s view of themselves and how other’s see them; 
  2. SelfEsteem = the deviation between how they feel inside and the image they are trying to project outwards and 
  3. Experience = the accumulated hours of deliberate practice they have attained in a specific domain of human competence.

Stupid Action: The Danger Zone
Hence we can predict that an individual with 1) no habits of self-reflection, 2) feeling bad after watching their favourite sports team lose and 3) working in a domain in which they have very little practical experience is almost certain to do something deeply stupid.

To reduce likelihood of stupid action (SA), we can 1) place mirrors in the room, 2) compliment the individual on a recent achievement and 3) motivate the individual to care and practice.

Refining the Equation
I am currently working on an improvement of the Human SA Equation.  I welcome all input, reflections and thoughts that can contribute to this debate.  What other factors contribute to Stupid Action?  Have you witnessed Stupid Action today?

What ways do you suggest that we test this hypothesis?  Is it a general equation, or do we need to develop context specific equation (for instance the Probability that someone will say something deeply stupid in front of an MBA class)?


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