Sign up ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Every few days there is a new question here at Cognitive Sciences asking for a scientific term to describe a behavior that the inquirer finds fault with.

Examples include:

Reading this type of question, I often get the impression that the person asking them is affronted that the person they describe in obsessive detail did not agree with their view or follow their advice, and now want to regain their sense of self-importance by pathologizing the other. It seems to me that many, if not most, of these questions are not based on facts but on the egomaniacal deslusion of knowing better.

For example (using the first question above):

  • How does the inquirer know that the person moving to a new field is not an expert in it? Is he himself expert enough to judge the other's expertise? It is a well-known fact that even experts often disagree so violently that they accuse each other of complete ignorance. So how can the average cogsci.SE passer-by competently judge anyone's expertise or lack thereof?

You'll be easily able to find similar objections to all other questions.

So what is the name for that affliction?

share|improve this question
I trust the irony of your question is intentional :) Irony aside, if you're really looking for an answer, I'm thinking it might lie somewhere among "patronage/condescension", "intellectualization", and "stereotyping". If you're not, maybe this ought to be a meta-question. – Nick Stauner Jun 17 '14 at 18:11

1 Answer 1

I loathe the teachings of Freud, but this sounds like what Freud would call "Intellectualization." This is supposedly a defense mechanism.

share|improve this answer
Please explain. I have no idea what Freud meant with that term and therefore don't understand your answer. – what Nov 18 '14 at 8:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.