If a person does not have the ability to reason logically in high pressure situations (and is consequently always clueless), what term can be used to describe such a person? I'm looking for an adjective but a noun will also do.

If there is a medical term to describe such a condition I will be interested in knowing about that as well.

Example Sentence:

He sank into stormy contemplation, clueless how to handle the latest of his challenges.

So from the above example, such a person can be called a __________

  • perpetually clueless?
    – NVZ
    May 10, 2016 at 19:12
  • Also, is this person clueless only about people, but about everything?
    – ab2
    May 10, 2016 at 19:14
  • 1
    Also write if you need a medical term for such an inability to reason logically or something?
    – vickyace
    May 10, 2016 at 19:26
  • 2
    Thanks, that is very helpful. The only other change I would recommend is to add why you don't just want to use the word "clueless," or one of its synonyms as found in a thesaurus. For example, maybe none of these words have the right nuance of meaning. Describing this will help show what kind of word you do want.
    – herisson
    May 10, 2016 at 19:42
  • 1
    Related medical terms are "Hyperemotivity", "Prostration" or "Avolition". But none of them perfectly fits.
    – Graffito
    May 10, 2016 at 21:12

3 Answers 3


Try nonplus - It means

(noun) A state of bafflement or perplexity : quandary

(adjective) caused to be at a loss as to what to think, say, or do.

Also, consider another noun Quandary which is a synonym of perplexity It means

A situation in which you are confused about what to do


This person is ineffectual (adj), which The Free Dictionary defines as:

Lacking forcefulness or effectiveness; inadequate or incompetent: an ineffectual ruler; ineffectual in dealing with a problem

Sentence (made up)

In a high pressure situation, an ineffectual person will either freeze or will make random stabs at doing something, anything, but they will add up to nothing.


Another adjective that might fit is blithe. Merriam Webster defines it thus:

"Showing a lack of proper thought or care : not caring or worrying."

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