Ignorance vs Apathy: Difference and Comparison

There are various human behaviours and characteristics. Each person portrays and behaves differently from others. These characteristics are used as adjectives to describe a person.

Human behaviours can be normal and abnormal. Certain characteristics pass to a person as heredity, and few are what they develop and adopt by themselves.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ignorance refers to a lack of knowledge or information about a particular subject, while apathy is a lack of interest, concern, or enthusiasm.
  2. Ignorance can be overcome through learning and education, while apathy requires a change in attitude or motivation.
  3. Ignorance can sometimes be excused due to a lack of exposure or opportunity, while apathy is considered a negative trait.

Ignorance vs Apathy

The difference between ignorance and apathy is that ignorance is the lack of knowledge or information, whereas apathy is the lack of interest or concern. An ignorant person is someone who does not have the knowledge or information to do something and is unaware. In contrast, an apathetic person has the knowledge but is not interested or concerned about doing something.

Ignorance vs Apathy

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  Ignorance is a state of being unaware or lack of knowledge. Ignorant is an adjective used to describe a person in this state. There are different kinds of ignorance.

Apathy is when a person lacks emotions, feelings, or interest in doing something. In a state where a person feels suppression of emotions like excitement, passion, concern, etc., extreme forms of apathy are considered a disorder in many ways.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIgnoranceApathy
 Definition  Lack of information or knowledge Lack of emotions or feelings.
 Etymology Derived from an old French word in Latin ‘ignorantia’. Derived from the Greek word ‘apatheia’.
 Types Factual, object, technical. Emotional, behaviour, general, bystander, etc.
 Adjective Ignorant is the adjective used to describe a person in a state of ignorance. Apathetic is the adjective used to describe apathy.
 Symptoms Making random statements does not know proofs, dragging without having a point, false statements, etc. Lack of emotions, low energy levels, feeling of indifference, etc.
 Usage in the Sentence He did it in ignorance. She was sunk in apathy after his failure.

What is Ignorance?

Ignorance is a lack of information or being unaware of something. When a person is in this state, he/she is known as ignorant. It is an adjective to describe that person (in that state).

When a person lacks knowledge about some facts, it is known as ”factual ignorance”; when a person is unaware of some objects, it is known as ”object ignorance”; and ”technical ignorance” is when a person does not know how to do something. 

Ignorance can mentally impact a person’s mind; they can indirectly or directly get affected, lose confidence, or lose power over themselves.

If a person is ignorant, it is not considered a good sign; it can negatively affect the person and the people around them (society).

There are various other concepts of ignorance in different fields. Rational ignorance, pluralistic ignorance (social psychology), vincible ignorance, etc., each concept has different meanings and understanding based on their fields.

Example in a sentence –

  • Ignorance is the mother of all evil and negativity.
  • He did it in ignorance.
  • She had to pay a huge price because of her ignorance.

What is Apathy?

Apathy is when a person lacks feelings or emotions or is not interested in doing something. Their concerns, excitement etc., are suppressed and don’t reflect.

They can lose interest in different aspects, be it social, physical, emotional, etc. It is said that the word apathy was first used in 1594.

There are many reasons behind apathy. They can experience laziness, disappointment, and rejection and opt to be disinterested or emotionless to cope with stress.

Many different brain disorders can have characteristics of an increased level of apathy. It is known as pathological apathy—conditions like Alzheimer’sAlzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and a few other neurodegenerative conditions.


Main Differences Between Ignorance and Apathy

  1. Ignorant is the adjective used to describe a person in a state of ignorance, whereas apathetic is the adjective used to describe apathy.
  2. Making random statements does not know proofs, dragging without having a point, making false statements, etc., are symptoms of ignorance. In contrast, lack of emotions, low energy levels, feeling of indifference, etc., are symptoms of apathy.
Difference Between Ignorance and Apathy
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xs_pAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT383&dq=ignorance&ots=Xn4VNeVIDC&sig=0UoBDExccOvYY1bVXj756C2jvrQ
  2. https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/jnp.17.1.7

Last Updated : 15 June, 2023

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