Nation of Beancounters

Why does everyone pretend to not study?

Posted in Uncategorized by Navin Kumar on June 13, 2011

I’ve noticed that a lot of people who actually are studying pretend not to, either lying directly or simply underplaying the amount of time they spend with the books. Why is that?

Theory 1: My observations are wrong. Everyone who claims to be not working actually. How do I know anyway?

Theory 2: People set high aims and miss, which means they don’t think they’re studying.

Theory 3: (aka the Robin Hanson riff) Intelligence is higher status than hard work. If you work hard and do badly, you have to be really dumb. No one wants to signal that. Indeed, for any given level of marks, a person who has attained them through innate intelligence enjoys higher status than someone who has achieved them via late nights spent with nose to the grind stone. Why is intelligence higher status? Possible because it signals better genes while hard work is believed to have come from one’s environment. Evolution has keyed us to granting higher status to those with better genes.

Related cartoon here.


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