David Dunning is famous for studying stupidity, but his work also suggests ways we can all be smarter.










  • bluntly said or done in a direct and truthful way
  • oblivious not conscious of something
  • flamboyant – ostentatious, extravagant, showy
  • susceptible likely to be influenced by something/someone
  • to schmooze – to converse informally; to chat
  • dead (simple, easy) – completely or extremely
  • humility modesty; absence of pride or self-assertion
  • to nudge to encourage or persuade someone to do something in a gentle way

True or False?


1. Dunning-Kruger effect suggests how we can be more aware of our ignorance.

2. Some people are more confident when assessing their own skills.

3. We tend to be immune to overconfidence.

4. When taking an important decision it’s not advisable to imagine one’s plans fall through. 

5. When it comes to predicting things one should not look at things through rose-coloured glasses .

6. Some questions should not be subjected to personal analysis.

7. Admitting lack of comprehension takes humbleness.

8. One is able to realize and remember that one’s knowledge is not unlimited.

ANSWERS:1T; 2T; 3F; 4F; 5T; 6T; 7T


Practice Makes Perfect

Use the words in bold to complete the gaps in the article below. To check your answers, go to:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/05/17/8-ways-smart-people-act-stupid

right                           bar                  effort                     rational               dumb             

wrong                      accomplish                 silly                 common sense

8 Ways Smart People Act Stupid

It’s good to be smart. After all, intelligent people earn more money, accumulate more wealth, and even live longer. On the surface, being smart looks like easy living. But there’s another side to the story.

Intelligent people have a reputation for making (1) ………. mistakes, especially in situations that require (2) …………… . The simplicity of these situations and the abundant intelligence of those who tend to muck them up can be downright comical.

After decades of research, scientists are finally beginning to understand why this happens. Shane Frederick at Yale University was among the first to conduct research that explained why (3) ………….. thinking and intelligence don’t tend to go hand in hand. (…)

Smart people are more prone to (4) ……… mistakes because of blind spots in how they use logic. These blind spots exist because smart people tend to be overconfident in their reasoning abilities. That is, they’re so used to being right and having quick answers that they don’t even realize when they’re blowing it by answering without thinking things through.

Consider some of the most common ways in which smart people manage to shoot themselves in the foot.

1. Smart people are overconfident. (…)       

2. They push people too hard. Smart people develop overachieving personalities because things come so easily to them. They simply don’t understand how hard some people have to work to (5) ………… the same things, and because of that, they push people too hard. Smart people set the (6) ……. too high, and when people take too long or don’t get things quite right, they assume it’s due to a lack of (7) ……… . So they push even harder and miss the opportunity to help others achieve the goals they’re so anxious for them to reach.

3. They always need to be (8) …….. . It’s hard for anyone to graciously accept the fact that they’re (9) ……. . It’s even harder for smart people because they grow so used to being right all the time that it becomes a part of their identity. For smart people, being wrong can feel like a personal attack, and being right , a necessity. (…)


ANSWERS: 1.dumb/silly; 2. common sense; 3. rational; 4. silly/dumb; 5. accomplish;6. bar; 7. effort; 8. right; 9. wrong





  • Does school make one more intelligent?
  • Do you think there is a link between intelligence, creativeness and humour?
  • Would you say intelligence makes people more attractive?
  • What would insult your intelligence?
  • Do very intelligent and unintelligent people make good partners?
  • How can you increase your intelligence?
  • Common sense is not so common.” (Voltaire) Do you agree?



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The dark history of IQ tests

In 1905, psychologists Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon designed a test for children who were struggling in school in France. Designed to determine which children required individualized attention, their method formed the basis of the modern IQ test. So how do IQ tests work, and are they a true reflection of intelligence?