Attention FAE Customers:
Please be aware that NASBA credits are awarded based on whether the events are webcast or in-person, as well as on the number of CPE credits.
Please check the event registration page to see if NASBA credits are being awarded for the programs you select.

Want to save this page for later?


The Daily

Study: People Not as Smart as They Say They Are

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 22, 2015
FishHookA new study proves true Lincoln's oft-cited quote "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt," as researchers have found that the more people say they know about something, the more likely they are to validate false concepts related to that subject.

The study, conducted by psychology and marketing academics from Cornell and Tulane, found that people who showed "self-perceived financial knowledge" are more likely to be claim they are familiar with financial concepts that the researchers completely made up.

This result also extends to self-perceived knowledge over other subject areas such as biology, with self-claimed experts once again being more likely to say they know about completely fictitious concepts, and geography, with those claiming to know a lot about geography being more likely to say they know about places that don't exist at all. 

It happens, according to the study, even if you warn people ahead of time that some of the concepts they would see were fictitious. 

This could be an expression of two very human fears: admitting you don't know and admitting you're wrong. This is a shame, though, because taking that leap and admitting you're fallible is not necessarily the image-killer people may think it is. Indeed, if done right, it can not only be potentially seen as a sign of character but good for business in general as it becomes unburdened from having to defend obvious mistakes, according to Forbes.