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Your_Majesty's avatar

How could you diffrentiate between 'hypocrite' and 'naive'?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212 points ) July 12th, 2010

We know what each means but it would be hard for us to determine which one is used by other people.

This is the example: when one ask “do you want money?”,the first responder will say “Of course,yeah,etc”,and second responder will say “No,I just need love,that’s all”

Another example: when one ask “Government have exterminated all strays in the city,do you think this is reasonable?”,the first responder will say “Strays contain disease,bla,bla,bla,dangerous”,and the second responder will say “Oh no,that is cruel,I can’t believe that,they kill these innocent creature,etc”.

From these two example we can know that both second responders are either naive or hypocrite. The first responders without any doubt are rational through their answers.

So how could we differentiate between hypocrite and naive? Are both affected by emotional/immaturity factor alone or also by other factors?

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23 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I don’t see how the responders of the second answers are to be called hypocrites or naive.
How do you come to that conclusion?
Could the second responder not just be an animal lover, who thinks that there might be other ways to deal with strays (neuturing comes to mind)?

Edit: One could also call the first respondent in the first example a naive.
I mean, come on, who is to give money away (for nothing) and who is saying yes to that offer without hesitation and/or knowing what has to be done for it?

gemiwing's avatar

To me, a hypocrite says one thing and then does another. Naive people just have a narrow view, like a child. Then again- naive depends on the viewpoint of the observer and isn’t always correct. So, to me, none of these responses are hypocritical in nature.

Spider's avatar

To be honest, I don’t follow your examples. They can each be valid points of view, held honestly by someone, neither naive or hypocritical.

As far as how can you tell the difference, for a hypocritical response, you would need to know something about that person. For example, an “animal lover” who is against animal cruelty, but whose actions demonstrate otherwise.

I would think that a naive response can seem to be one that seems to ignore facts, as if they don’t have the life experience to understand that things can happen to them too.

syz's avatar

I don’t really see the connection. Naivete is a (sometimes seen as foolish) innocence and lack of worldliness. Hypocrisy is an intentional falsehood or pretense of a belief. If anything, they seem somewhat diametrically opposed.

Spider's avatar

I apologize; I didn’t answer the final question, “Are both affected by emotional/immaturity factor alone or also by other factors?” First, I would caution against trying to lump someone into a category because someone who is naive about some things isn’t necessarily naive about everything.

I would think that it’s the combination of personality, life experience, and emotional health that would be contributing factors to whether someone has a naive or hypocritical perspective of something.

If I could expand on @syz‘s statement, although it’s often the case, I don’t think hypocrisy is necessarily intentional. I believe it’s possible that some people hold what they do and what other’s do to a completely separate standard, therefore the hypocrisy of their own actions is invisible to them… unfortunately.

And that’s something in common with naivete, inexperience, or even disregard – one may not realize they are being naive.

stardust's avatar

I too don’t see the connection. As has been mentioned, there are many factors that lead to one’s opinion. I think @rebbel summed it up beautfiully :)

jfos's avatar

First, I disagree with your examples. They don’t clearly exhibit naive or hypocritical qualities to me.

In my opinion, naïveté is an unintentional ignorance due to lack of experience or rational skepticism.

In my opinion, hypocrisy (generally) occurs when one verbally contradicts his/her actual behavior. An example: “Don’t litter, it’s terrible for the environment,” said John, who had just crumpled up his gum wrapper and threw it in the bushes.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Foolishness is the lovechild of naive hypocrites.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@rebbel My conclusion is that the first responder give rational fact about strays,on the contrary,the second responder only state his/her feeling without giving any fact. I took this example question from other sites(it’s about a country that exterminated all strays in cities,there’s already a fact about economical issue,and the possibility of other method,like neutering for example).

The first question is about whether or not one think money is a necessity for his/herself,not about who give/where the money comes from. When one ask “Who wants sugar?”,the answer should be either “yes” or “no”(reason can comes later),if one answer “who will give free sugar/where the sugar comes from?” then the answer would be irrelevant,to answer what isn’t asked.

@rebbel I’m agree that not everyone naive toward every things but we’re not judging people’s personality here,we’re talking about the answer. A naive answer is naive but it is still an answer.

Most people might not realize that they gave hypocrite answer,but some who realized about their hypocrisy could do intentionally if they want to. So,most naive people won’t realize about their naiveness if they could be naive to one subject but not for another?

We’re observing responses/answer. But I think your information is insightful.

@syz There could be a connection when hypocritical answers disguise as naive answers and vice versa. Sometime they sound the same but not necessarily from people with the responsible personality traits.

@jfos So in other words naive could be seen but hypocrisy can’t be seen through responses/answers? (you don’t know the persons,only their answer/response).

@All,Overall I’ve seen great responses.

jfos's avatar

@Doctor_D I think naïveté also requires some context, but not as many personality characteristics as hypocrisy.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Spider Oh I’m really sorry. My second response is for @Spider but I type @rebbel twice instead. I’m so sorry about this.

Spider's avatar

@Doctor_D (no worries!) I’m glad you distinguish between the person and their answer – I think it’s all too easy in a forum like this to jump to conclusions about a person based on a response.

Perhaps the difficulty for me in answering this question comes from my ability to think of possible situations (albeit exceptional), where the second responses from your example would be neither naive or hypocritical.

1. If someone has plenty of money but they are lonely, the second response sounds reasonable to me.
2. If someone believes that killing animals for any reason other than compassion for them is cruel, the second response sounds reasonable to me (aside from not believing that a government would make a decision to do so).

To me, naive answers would be something like, “money is all anyone needs to be truly happy”, and “well, governments only do what’s best for the citizens regardless of cost or political repercussion, so whatever they decide to do is always in the society’s best interest.”

Hypocritcal answers are more difficult, since by definition they are a contradiction and you may not have access to both sides of that contradiction. These might be examples of hypocritical responses: “Nah, I don’t want money, but if someone doesn’t give me what they owe me, I’m gonna hound them until they do.”; and “Yeah, kill all the stray cats but they shouldn’t harm any dogs.”

ipso's avatar

@Doctor_D – I completely sympathize with your question.

For the examples you gave, I might use the term “naïve”, and possibly “hypocrite” (for example if in the first instance they drove a premium car), but you can’t just call them names, you have to give them examples and educate their naïveté (e.g. how in your country (perhaps) strays prove dangerous carriers of disease even it spayed, or some statistics about the actual volume of strays, which might not jive with the wouldview/country of the responder, or their knowledge and understanding.

That leftist pang you feel, at people who respond in an apparently disconnected way, like in the examples you gave, are perhaps actually wispy idealists (vs. naïve or hypocrites) who want so desperately to see a better world (because they more or less hate the one we are in), they let their emotions color their reality in a way that is enlightening, and hopeful, and optimistic, and beautiful, but – yes – can be jarringly naïve and possibly inaccurate at times.

I look at it as ying and yang – where leftist thought is like the emotional and sensitive woman in a family [specifically my family] and rightist the pragmatic (drowned-a-sack-of-puppies-if-needed) father. You need both in a healthy family/society. You need dialog between the two, informing each other. Which – conveniently – we are doing here. However many responses so far seem leftist [if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it]. They really-really hate mean people. You sound more like a pragmatist.

Perhaps what leftists don’t realize is that answering (or living) to the left does not necessarily convert people as much as create polar opposites, who feel more balance is needed, in equal measures.

That’s how I see it Doctor_D.

@Spider gives a great example of hypocrisy too ^.

wundayatta's avatar

What reason could a person have for giving the hypocritical answers? It seems to me that only the most insecure and insubstantial people would do such a thing. So, if someone was like that—full of themselves and always bragging about what they do, I’d take that as a warning sign that they might be the kind of person who would say something because they thought that’s what the other person wanted to hear instead of because they actually thought it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@wundayatta I once had a boss who would say, “Do as I say and not as I do.” And he wondered why there was high turnover there.

wundayatta's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It’s amazing how oblivious some people can be about the effect of their behavior on others.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@wundayatta I suppose he is a prime example of someone both hypocritical and naive.

wundayatta's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Perfect! GA! You made me LOL.

Kraigmo's avatar

Just an example:

Naive: Registered Republican Civilians They think they’re being protected and given freedom by God loving family men
Hypocrite: Republican Politicians They claim to be Christian family men, when they’d f—k a male harlot in private or kill an innocent with a bill, in a New York minute.

ninjacolin's avatar

if you do it on purpose hoping others won’t notice, then you’re a hypocrite.
if you do it by accident because you just didn’t think it through, then you’re naive.

jfos's avatar

@ninjacolin I think there’s a difference between naive and careless.

hotgirl67's avatar

Someone is naive if they didn’t know any better. A hypocrite is someone who criticizes someone else’s choices when they have done the exact same thing and worse.

ninjacolin's avatar

@jfos, what difference would you suggest?

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