Naive vs Gullible
Although the words gullible and naive sound very much similar and are used interchangeably by most people, there is a slight difference between these two words. First, let us pay attention to the definitions of the two words. Naive is when an individual lacks the experience or judgment. For example, a young person can be naive because he lacks exposure to the new surrounding. This can make him vulnerable as he is unable to detect hidden motives that other people have. Gullible is when an individual can be deceived easily. Just as a naive person, a gullible person also lacks judgment. However, the difference is that while a naive person can be young and new to a particular setting, a gullible person may not. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two words, naive and gullible.
What is Naive?
Naive lacks experience or judgment. A person who is naive can think of the world as all pure and good although, in reality, the world is completely different from the point of view of the naive person. A naive person has less wisdom of the world. His knowledge of the world in general and of the people is limited. He believes that people are good at heart and says what they think. He does not realize that people can have hidden agendas.
His view of things is very simple and can be compared to that of a child. A naive person does not contemplate that others would cheat and lie. He naively believes what other people tell him. A person can be naive because he has less exposure to the society. For example, imagine a child who has been raised in a very confined setting with less exposure to the real world. This individual grows up into being a naive person because of this lack of experience and judgment.
What is Gullible?
Gullible is when a person can be easily deceived. Such a person can be manipulated into believing almost any ridiculous thing because he lacks social knowledge. People who are gullible are usually very trusting of others and believe what they say is accurate. Just as a naive person, a gullible person is unable to detect lies and treachery.
For example, imagine a person to whom a worthless piece of land has been sold by duping him to believe that it is, in fact, a valuable asset. A normal person cannot be so easily duped because he has social awareness. The person would ask around, try to find some solid information before buying the land. However, a gullible person functions in a different way. He would buy the land without any inquiring.
Mostly the words gullible and naive go together, however, the difference is that while a naive person lacks experience, a gullible person may not. Still he becomes easily manipulated.
What is the difference between Naive and Gullible?
Definitions of Naive and Gullible:
Naive: Naive lacks experience or judgment and think of the world as all pure and good.
Gullible: Gullible is being easily deceived.
Characteristics of Naive and Gullible:
The words naive and gullible often go together.
Both a gullible person and a naive person lack social awareness.
Naive: A naive person can be young.
Gullible: A gullible person may not be young.
Naive: A naive person has less experience.
Gullible: A gullible person can have experience. Still he makes the mistake of being manipulated.
Images Courtesy: Millais’s “The Farmer’s Daughter” and Illustration by Peter Newell for the poem “The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven” via Wikicommons (Public Domain)