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In the example quoted below, I used surprised with intended meaning "jolted from naïveté", but wasn't satisfied with it. Also, I wanted to avoid implying that discovering the mentioned fact made me omniscient, jaded or both. The fact wasn't just something I didn't know, it was something I didn't know because I hadn't bothered finding out about it.

Here is the instance where I used surprised. It was on another SE site, so rather informal:

I was actually surprised to find there is a whole field devoted to researching and mitigating jury biases, though their research could arguably be easily used to exploit jury biases.

(I study psychology, so not knowing this was kind of ignorant.)

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Awesome question! –  BBischof May 29 '11 at 15:29

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You may mean

realization |ˌrē(ə)ləˈzā sh ən| noun 1 [in sing. ] an act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact : ... realization dawned suddenly.

EDIT

It occurs to me you may also be looking for something closer to "having an epiphany" (adj. epiphanic). An epiphany in this sense means

a moment of sudden revelation or insight.

[NOAD]

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Epiphany doesn't capture it, because "revelation" is exactly the opposite of "I didn't bother finding out". Realization is nice, but it has more of a "I didn't put all the pieces together" ring to me. It's probably closest! –  Ruben May 29 '11 at 14:15

How about having a 'loss of innocence'.

Innocence – noun

  1. the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
  2. freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness: The prisoner proved his innocence.
  3. simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.

Number 3 specifically.

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Huh, I'm not sure about it. It doesn't really capture "didn't bother finding out about it" – having been lazy/complacent and therefore ignorant/naïve isn't simple and especially not free of sin (I think in the past not knowing something was less often one's own fault) –  Ruben May 29 '11 at 22:35

"Disillusioned" : to free from illusion; also : to cause to lose naive faith and trust

  • Working at that store for six months was enough to disillusion me about retail work.
  • We were disillusioned when we saw how the movie star acted in real life.

(from m-w.com)

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World English Dictionary: having lost one's ideals, illusions, or false ideas about someone or something; disenchanted – very much like jaded, isn't it? –  Ruben May 29 '11 at 16:32

This is not perfect, but perhaps you could try

The scales fell from my eyes

This usually just means revealing something you were not seeing previously. This doesn't completely capture your laziness here, but perhaps with a supporting clause it could do the job.

Here is what I had in mind.

Despite his moral upbringing, the visit to the factory farm was requisite to pull the scales from his eyes, erasing his ignorance borne of laxity.

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Sorry for the controversial nature of the example sentence. If it is too inappropriate, I can remove it. –  BBischof May 29 '11 at 15:39
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I like it, but it is quite pompous and I wouldn't use it in a conversation, I guess (I wouldn't used jolted from naïveté either, dang that sounds arrogant). –  Ruben May 29 '11 at 15:42
    
Ha! I was thinking of a written use. You make a good point, that spoken, this sounds a bit rough. –  BBischof May 29 '11 at 15:46
    
Well, it occurred in a written conversation on another SE board skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1062/…. But I didn't want make such a big deal of my naïveté maybe, so that's why pompous means no in that context –  Ruben May 29 '11 at 15:52
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Putting it in that context drastically changes things. I recommend you put that link in your question. –  BBischof May 29 '11 at 16:11

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