While many people of varying levels of intelligence and backgrounds can encounter Effort Shock, it is believed to mainly afflict people in first world, Westernized societies. This is likely due to a variety of factors: parental upbringing, popular cultural influences, the overwhelming choice of professions in Westernized society, and lack of education about one’s desired goal.
While they often initially feel extremely excited, motivated, and prepared, realizing the daunting magnitude, difficulty, and level of effort to achieve the goal leaves the victims of Effort Shock feeling disheartened and lacking motivation. This can lead to the person quitting their goal entirely.
I experienced Effort Shock when I tried to learn a foreign language after high school, because I underestimated and lacked the motivation and commitment needed to gain any conversational proficiency.