"Stupid is what stupid does", as Forrest Gump says with irrepressible candour. Carlo M. Cipolla, on the other hand, believed that stupid people really do exist: they comprise a group of individuals with unmistakable and irredeemable traits which he amusingly attacked in the pages of "Allegro ma non troppo". Which of the two is right? Unfortunately, according to Paolo Legrenzi, stupidity is not a lack of intelligence and can afflict anyone - in certain circumstances, even gifted people with a high IQ. What are the cognitive traps and the social circumstances that cause us to act so foolishly as to bitterly regret it ("How the devil did I ever...")? And what is the role of other people's judgment? This book explains what psychology can teach us about this topic and makes extensive use of historical examples and cases drawn form recent newspaper accounts (from Bill Clinton to our own backyards).
Paolo Legrenzi teaches Psychology at the University of Venice.
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