Description and type: simulated poor academic performance. Digressive/repressive disorder.

Symptoms and signs: feigned ignorance of materials studied, intentionally weak writing, deliberate wrong answers on tests. Student may unwittingly approximate the slack-jawed blank stare and flattened vocal tones of the mentally retarded student.

Etiology: in some disadvantaged segments of society (women, minorities, the working class, the poor), group solidarity requires of all members the impression of equal inferiority or inferior equality, or what is commonly known as "keeping down with the Czarnickis." Female students will feign stupidity in order not to antagonize potential suitors among male students who feign stupidity in order not to seem effeminate. Black and Hispanic students who excel in school are typically thought of as "traitors" to their people.

Treatment: sodium phenoknowital (TopDog).

Prognosis: mixed. The myth of economic success is a powerful motivator, and fueled by sodium phenoknowital it can turn even the most recalcitrant student around. Unfortunately, the hierarchical structure of approved academic success necessitates reserving a few spaces at the top for winners, and losing is almost inevitably a disheartening experience. It is likely, therefore, that pseudostupid students who, treated effectively with sodium phenoknowital, begin to study and strive for top grades will continue to fall behind their more socially advantaged fellows, which in turn will in most cases counteract the effects of the drug.

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Copyright 1992 Dumb and Dumber.