Exactly that. Something one of the smartest people I ever knew — was leading authority on 17th century America at the time — told me: “There’s a big difference between memorization and understanding. Far too much of how people do things is the former with little if any of the latter.”
In that way, I think people get so focused on the goal they end up lacking the understanding to make the rational choices needed to get there, and to not have things be an utter mess in the long term.
As I’ve said a few places that goes back to the biggest problem of all, the “credit mentality” of paying more later for something you can’t afford now. People are so obsessed with “instant results” they don’t care if they throw their own future under the bus to get them.
That and since they got “a result”, “any result” it leads to confirmation bias when things go wrong. “But it worked!!!” … no, it really didn’t, it just made you THINK it worked.
And once confirmation bias creates cognitive dissonance, it’s near impossible to “fix” that broken mentality.