Ignorance is a lack of
Knowledge can be defined as awareness of facts or as practical skills, and may also refer to familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distinc ...
. The word "ignorant" is an adjective that describes a person in the state of being unaware
, or even
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information, and the mental toll of it. Relevant items of information include a person's actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, values, and things in the environment. ...
and other cognitive relation, and can describe individuals who are unaware of important information or facts. Ignorance can appear in three different types: factual ignorance (absence of knowledge of some fact), object ignorance (unacquaintance with some object), and technical ignorance (absence of knowledge of how to do something).
Ignorance can have negative effects on individuals and societies, but can also benefit them by creating within them the desire to know more. For example, ignorance within science opens the opportunity to seek knowledge and make discoveries by asking new questions. Though this can only take place if the individual possesses a curious mind.
Studies suggest that adults with an adequate education who perform enriching and challenging jobs are happier, and more in control of their environment. The confidence that adults obtain through the sense of control that education provides allows those adults to go for more leadership positions and seek for power throughout their lives.
In 1984, author Thomas Pynchon
Another effect of ignorance is characterized by the Dunning-Kruger effect
, named after the scientists David Dunning
and Justin Kruger
in 1999. This theory centralizes the behavior of subjects regarding their intellectual capabilities and social behaviors. The limited information or competence of people that possess the Dunning-Kruger translates into a feeling of intellectual superiority.
Agnoiology (from the Greek ἀγνοέω, meaning ignorance) is the theoretical study of the quality and conditions of ignorance, and in particular of what can truly be considered "unknowable" (as distinct from "unknown"). The term was coined by J ...
– the theoretical study of the unknown and the unknowable
Within the sociology of knowledge, agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product, influence opinion, or win favour, particularly through the publication of inacc ...
– the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt
* Avidya (Hinduism)
, ignorance, a concept in Vedanta. Vidya is knowledge. Literally, Avidya is not knowledge.
Avidyā ( Sanskrit: अविद्या; Pāli: अविज्जा, ''Avijjā''; Tibetan phonetic: ''ma rigpa'') in Buddhist literature is commonly translated as "ignorance". The concept refers to ignorance or misconceptions about the natu ...
, ignorance as a concept in Buddhism
* Dunning–Kruger effect
is the philosophical principle that human beings could be wrong about their beliefs, expectations, or their understanding of the world, and yet still be justified in holding their incorrect beliefs.
* General Ignorance
, the final round of the BBC quiz show '' QI
'' (2003 onwards), which focuses on seemingly easy questions but whose obvious answers are wrong.
**'' The Book of General Ignorance
'' (2006), based on the BBC quiz show. The book aims to correct common misconception
Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. In moral psychology, it is th ...
* Ignorance Is Bliss
* Ignorance management
Knowledge management (KM) is the collection of methods relating to creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. It refers to a multidisciplinary approach to achieve organisational objectives by making ...
practice that addresses the concept of ignorance in organizations
Innocence is a lack of guilt, with respect to any kind of crime, or wrongdoing. In a legal context, innocence is to the lack of legal guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime. In other contexts, it is a lack of experience.
In relatio ...
, a term sometimes used to indicate a naive lack of knowledge or understanding.
The Age of Ignorance ( ar, / , "ignorance") is an Islamic concept referring to the period of time and state of affairs in Arabia before the advent of Islam in 610 CE. It is often translated as the "Age of Ignorance". The term ''jahiliyyah'' ...
, Islamic concept for "ignorance of divine guidance".
Newspeak is the fictional language of Oceania, a totalitarian superstate that is the setting of the 1949 dystopian novel ''Nineteen Eighty-Four'', by George Orwell. In the novel, the Party created Newspeak to meet the ideological requiremen ...
, the fictional language in the 1949 novel ''
''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' (also stylised as ''1984'') is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale written by the English writer George Orwell. It was published on 8 June 1949 by Secker & Warburg as Orwell's ninth and fina ...
'', written by
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, social criticism, opposition to totalitari ...
. A reduced language created by a totalitarian state as a tool to keep the population in a controlled state of ignorance, and
Thoughtcrime is a word coined by George Orwell in his 1949 dystopian novel ''Nineteen Eighty-Four''. It describes a person's politically unorthodox thoughts, such as beliefs and doubts that contradict the tenets of Ingsoc (English Socialism) ...
described as "protective stupidity".
* Pluralistic Ignorance
a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but go along with it because they assume, incorrectly, that most others accept it.
* Rational ignorance
a voluntary state of ignorance that can occur when the cost of educating oneself on an issue exceeds the potential benefit that the knowledge would provide
* Sociology of scientific ignorance
, the study of ignorance as something relevant.
* Gigerenzer, Gerd
and Garcia-Retamero, RocioCassandra’s Regret: The Psychology of Not Wanting to Know
(March 2017), '' Psychological Review
,'' 2017, Vol. 124, No. 2, 179–196. Paper proposes a regret theory of deliberate ignorance.  A summary discussion
of the paper on the website of the ''
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, with over 133,000 members, including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. It has ...
Barriers to critical thinking
Concepts in epistemology