I am trying to find a word to precisely describe a psychological trait or behavior that makes someone not understand, oversee or not acknowledge nuances or precisions being presented to them by another person during a collaborative process, in work or everyday life. It could be by choice, limited interpersonal skills, a cultural or education gap, intellectual limitations, etc.

The result of the behavior or trait I am looking for is a failed project due to oversight and a lack of capacity to be technical or detail oriented.

For example:

"To make this cake right, I need this specific type of flour.

-I don't think you'll find this here, so let's go to the store and get whatever they have! It won't make a difference

-I find your behavior very ... It is in the project's interest to follow my expertise"


"To do my job right, I need a subscription to this suite of apps.

-Expensive! Please use a free alternative. It won't make a difference!

-I find your behavior very ... It is in the project's interest to follow my expertise"

I guess it would be described by being oblivious or rejecting expertise or specificity, or going over another person's qualifications. I find often when someone has expertise in a field, they deal with people who will instinctively dumb down their process.

Words like unprofessional, uneducated or sloppy are too vague, and don't really highlight the gaslighting and demeaning effect of this behavior.

  • 2
    The question presumes that the recipient of this behavior is being victimized and the person uttering this purportedly dismissive line is an idiot, a philistine, or some other equally negative attribution. But what if they're right in their suggestion, one which is simplifying and delineating of the possibly pedantic nature of the stipulation? What words would apply in that case?
    – user862888
    Commented Mar 30 at 6:54
  • 1
    @DJohnson No, my question really has to do with someone who is unable to, or refuses to perceive the importance of a nuance that someone believes is important. They don't compromise and say "well I know the result would be different but why not try that", they say "just do that instead", ignoring the underlying reasons why someone does something a certain way. A mix of gaslighting + oversight + disrespect + ignorance. The question implies that the philistine is incorrect in their assumption that the result will be what the victim intends to achieve, or the difference negligible in their eyes. Commented Mar 30 at 7:52
  • There are multiple words and phrases that could be applicable to such behavior or to the person exhibiting it, but I don't think there is a single word or a short phrase that sums up the totality of the idea. Indeed, the behavior described seems both somewhat alien and very specific. I'm sure I've never dealt with such behavior in real life. Similar behavior in fiction is usually, in my experience, a manifestation of incompetence, which I would put in the same category as already-rejected unprofessional, uneducated, and sloppy. Commented Mar 30 at 13:32
  • Re: "behavior that makes someone not understand, oversee or not acknowledge nuances or precisions being presented to them by another person". I don't think you mean "oversee" here - just "see" is fine. Also, it is unclear whether you are asking for a word describing their state/nature, or their behavior.
    – Kirt
    Commented Mar 30 at 18:04
  • This is close to what I was looking for: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect Commented Apr 1 at 9:19

4 Answers 4



As Tinfoil hat commented, the word is dismissive.

Dismissive: [S]howing that you do not think something is worth considering

Here one person is presenting legitimate concerns (about quality, process, etc.) and the other person is rejecting those concerns out-of-hand as not being valid, or as OP says "rejecting expertise or specificity"; they do "not acknowledge nuances or precisions" that are being made.

Dismissive describes how they are being, but leaves open the question of why they are like that. If they are limited in their capacity to actually see or understand the concerns, then they are indeed obtuse. However, perhaps they simply are obtuse, without necessarily being obtuse. That is, if their incapacity is a natural state, they "are" obtuse, but if they are deliberately refusing to see detail, then they are "being" obtuse.


Obtuse can mean unable, having difficulty, or unwilling to understand.

obtuse (adj.)


Stupid and slow to understand, or unwilling to try to understand:

The answer's obvious - or are you being deliberately obtuse?

Lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect : insensitive, stupid

He is too obtuse to take a hint.

a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark. AHD

We do not think that any one, even the most obtuse person, reading this order in the light of the law in obedience to which it was made, can fail to understand its full and exact meaning.
Louisiana Supreme Court; Louisiana Reports, Vol. 20, State v. Marionneaux (1908)

Kaia was smiling and nodding her head. "I completely understand what you mean. It really doesn't make sense that humans are so obtuse about this."
"You just said one of the magic words that indicates the Vermosans are at work, obtuse. If a person fails to acknowledge that which is completely obvious, it is for at least one of a number of selfish reasons," Leilani explained.
E. Talley Morgan and Sheridan Morris; The Earth Commission (2017)



lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere

As in:

To shield one’s pet hypothesis of an alien object by suggesting that it is not being taken seriously because of a flaw in how we do science is playing a disingenuous game with the facts.



As in "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up"

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