Saturday, October 25, 2008

Incompetence, Perceiving It, And Politics

I love the field of psychology. It gives so much insight into the way people around us behave on a daily basis. I stumbled across and article discussing the relationship between incompetence, the ability to perceive incompetence and how it applies to politics.

One of the main marketing points the Republican Party has been playing on is how the Democrats are "elitist." They push for candidates similar to George W. Bush, who are very incompetent by any objective measures that I can conceive of.

The article discusses how the most incompetent people overestimate their own skills the most and underestimate the skills of others the most. This applies perfectly to Sarah Palin. Her attitude of "my way is the right way" shows this basic tendency to not realize her own shortcomings and to believe that other people's way is wrong.

The article also discusses how the most competent people accurately estimate their own skills but somewhat overestimate the skills of others. This applies perfectly to Barack Obama. He has the attitude that he can work with others because he believes they they are capable of coming to an agreement with each other.

When given the choice of these two types of mindsets, I think it's pretty clear which mindset I would prefer leading our country.

I would have liked to have drawn a comparison between Barack Obama and John McCain, however, I don't think John McCain is nearly as incompetent as Sarah Palin (aside from him choosing Palin as his running mate). The comparison with Palin is still important, however, because there is a very legitimate chance that Sarah Palin might become president if John McCain is elected, given his age and history of cancer.

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