Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 583–592 | Cite as

The Guru Effect

  • Dan SperberEmail author


Obscurity of expression is considered a flaw. Not so, however, in the speech or writing of intellectual gurus. All too often, what readers do is judge profound what they have failed to grasp. Here I try to explain this “guru effect” by looking at the psychology of trust and interpretation, at the role of authority and argumentation, and at the effects of these dispositions and processes when they operate at a population level where, I argue, a runaway phenomenon of overappreciation may take place.


Confirmation Bias External Reason Internal Reason Relevant Interpretation Intellectual Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Jean NicodEHESS-ENS-CNRSParisFrance

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