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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?

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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 at 18:11

2 Answers 2

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

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

I think that it would be dychotomic to think that there is only one reason to this answer.

Also I believe that it would be an error to think that this attitude is completely disfunctional.

For example. I've been arguing with a girl which looked to me assertive.. but I could intuit she wasn't, and I could find out that she is "passive" (in the meaning of putting a passive - but very annoying - resistence).

I didn't tell her that she is, but it's really useful for me to know. In psychology we can look at the same stuff from thousaund of different points of views. Focusing on our needs, on the other needs, on our fragilities, on our strategies for self defence and so on.

For example you could wonder why you are annoyed by this behavior in people. Or why do you think to know the motivation because people do. And all the cognitive distorsions behind (mind reading? generalization?). But this is not a challenge to you.. I'm simply saying that I can really find something useful by going deep in our / other people problems.

Imagine a guy which knows a BDP girl. Imagine he doesn't read anything on the topic. What could happen to him? The web is full of terrible stories on that. When he has a word to look for: "Borderline Personality Trait" he can really read a lot and start to wonder: "why do I want to go on with this relationship? Isn't better if I drop it?"

Also.. saying to the girl: "you are affected by BDP go to a psychoterapist instead of: you are a monster, you don't care of my feelings" would be really worst?"

I started to cure my OCD by realizing my symptoms on internet.

Even if to some people can be very bad to understand that there is something wrong in them. Often it's the first step to start to change.

I would like to repeat.. it's not a challenge to you. I'm not skilled on paychology, but I would like you to consider my point of view.

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Downvotes would be more useful if containing any constructive comment –  Revious Jul 20 at 21:59

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