What is the illusion of knowledge trap?… The problem of the knowledge illusion trap is a problem that is rarely addressed. In the past, individuals were evaluated according to the knowledge they possessed or according to what is now known in sociology as cultural capital. The value of knowledge was very high.
What is the illusion of knowledge trap?
The illusion of knowledge, in a nutshell, is the belief that you know a lot about a subject when in fact you know very little, and this results from the illusion of explanatory depth.
For example, if you ask someone: “Do you know how a watch works?” You’ll find that the answer is often yes and you may even find a few people going so far as to say, “Of course! Who doesn’t know that!” To the point where you lose confidence in what you know about it.
But if you ask him to explain to you how the watch works, here he will begin to realize that he has overestimated his knowledge of how the watch works, he may procrastinate a little bit in the end he will succumb to the admission that he does not really know how the watch works.
You may be surprised by this, but you go through it daily, even in the simplest things, such as asking someone for directions, for example, or when you are discussing with one of your friends about a topic.
You will find this phenomenon in its clearest form when you watch broadcasters asking people in the street, for example, and you may find this matter funny without knowing that we are all going through the same problem!
The people in the above examples are often not trying to deceive you, or at least not all of them – they just fail to appreciate the depth of their information only, and so are you!
So the explanatory depth illusion, or what I call the knowledge illusion trap, is that you fail to know and determine the depth of your knowledge about something, do you think that your knowledge is deeper than it actually is, which makes you ignorant that you don’t know.
Of course, you don’t notice it because you simply don’t know that you don’t know, the more you think you’ve become an expert on a subject, then you actually know very little about it.
Another research on this by Rebecca Lawson is known as The Bicycle Problem.
The knowledge illusion trap, as you have learned, not only affects your appreciation of your true knowledge about a topic, it is also related to the effect of that illusory knowledge on your confidence in your knowledge or your ability to perform a task that requires that knowledge.
This is what is known in psychology as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is the relationship between the percentage of your confidence in yourself versus your knowledge or experience. He is fully familiar with it and has high confidence in his knowledge or ability to perform the work.
But as he begins to learn more and more, he will discover that there are many things that he does not know anything about! Thus, his confidence begins to decline, until he gains true knowledge and experience, and then his confidence rises again after that.
Which explains how beginners talk as if they know everything, while more experienced or rather more knowledgeable people realize that they have a lot to learn despite their great knowledge of what they are doing.” content=” which explains how the beginners talk as if they know everything, while the more experienced or rather the more knowledgeable realize that they have a lot to learn despite their great knowledge about what they are doing.” style=” default”]
I think you now know what the illusion of the knowledge trap is and how it affects your confidence. I think what you have in mind now is why you fall into the illusion of knowledge? Here is the answer.
What is the reason behind falling into the trap of the illusion of knowledge?
Well, in order to know more about how we fall into the trap of the illusion of knowledge, we must start at the origin of the problem, which is two things:
1. that in the last fifty years we have come to know so much more than we did before about almost everything that we have had a huge informational avalanche.
2. that all that knowledge is just a few clicks away.
Add to this the myriad of distractions that surround us on every side to the point of the emergence of what is known as the Attention Economy, and stir a little and you will find that there is not enough time to acquire more in-depth knowledge, and we are making little effort to acquire it.
Despite the complexity of these two problems, the real problem lies in the ways we followed to solve these problems, as the solutions came in a form that fits the spirit of the age – the age of speed, of course – so we have become dependent on summarization and simplification as a means of acquiring the greatest amount of knowledge.
Instead of reading a 300-page book, you can just read – or listen to – the summary of that book in a short period of no more than ten minutes to suit your short attention span.
Instead of reading lectures from a great scientist that takes hours explaining a topic, prefer this YouTube channel that will give you a quick simplification of those lectures in just 15 minutes, hooray!
How do you know that you have fallen into the trap of the illusion of knowledge?
Well, well, I think you knew there was a problem, and that the solutions that were relied upon to solve that problem, in turn, led to bigger and more serious problems, but what now? I mean how do we get out of that closed-loop?
The first step to getting out of the trap of the illusion of knowledge is to first realize that you are in it, as I said earlier that the illusion of knowledge is a problem we all go through – with very few exceptions – but in varying proportions.
This is what Stephen Sloman and Philip Fernbach also talked about in their book, which I recommend reading, The Knowledge Illusion.
Whoever falls into the trap of the illusion of knowledge often does not know that he has fallen prey to this trap, simply because he does not know that he does not know! Because of his curiosity, all he cares about is to know more, to know more, and he feels that he is on the right path so for him there is no problem.
However, the moment comes when he realizes that what he knows is in fact much less than what he does not know about a subject, and that there is a lot to know, and that he possesses only a very small part of knowledge on this subject, so I say that he who is ignorant is more dangerous than he who knows That he is ignorant.
Because the latter will try to know, but the former will think that he already knows, and when he is in a situation that requires him to act according to his knowledge, it will become clear to him how he does not know what he thought he knew, and I think we have all been through this before.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about that experience is that moment when you realize that you were another victim of the illusion of knowledge. So, in order not to talk too long, let me tell you a short story about how I found out. It may help you too.
How to break free from falling victim to the illusion of knowledge?
After a lot of research on the problem, and reading what I shared with you from books and research on this problem, I found that – unfortunately – it is not possible to solve this problem completely.
Even Stephen Sloman, the author of the book, did not offer any viable solutions to get out of this problem! Which actually annoyed me a lot.
But I did not accept this, since March of last year I have been thinking and testing many solutions to this problem, and there are two stories about this.
The bad news is that in the end, I can’t say that I have a solution that will get us all out of this problem, it has become very complex and involves many other problems that cannot be solved overnight.
The good news is that after a lot of thinking, experiments, and analysis, I think I have come up with some solutions that helped me (personally) in solving this problem to a large extent – not to say completely – and which I think will help you too, even if only relatively.