Why clever people make stupid mistakes

Why clever people make stupid mistakes
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PHOTO: The New Paper

You're clever. You're a leader. And you're probably making a lot of mistakes you're not even aware of.

The brightest people and strongest leaders sometimes make errors others don't. It's a topic several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on this week. Here's what two of them had to say.

Travis Bradberry, president at TalentSmart

"It's good to be smart. After all, intelligent people earn more money, accumulate more wealth, and even live longer," wrote Bradberry in his post Why Smart People Act So Stupid. "But there's another side to the story. Intelligent people have a reputation for making dumb mistakes, especially in situations that require common sense."

Scientists might finally have an explanation for why this is the case. Intelligent people tend to blurt out answers with confidence, explained Bradberry. The research explained why "rational thinking and intelligence don't tend to go hand in hand".

Two universities found "smart people were more likely to blurt out the wrong answer because they actually make more mental mistakes when problem-solving," Bradberry wrote. "Smart people are more prone to silly 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 realise when they're blowing it by answering without thinking things through."

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