The Curse of Knowledge

Hey friends,

I would like to talk about something called The Curse of Knowledge. This week I was doing tech support with a relative who had a query about something on his phone. What I was showing him seemed to resonate and help him however all the while I was having this Imposter Syndrome that what I was saying was all obvious and stupid and I had even more of an imposter syndrome when I was paid.

This got me thinking about how much Knowledge can have an effect on you and often you have to just let go of the Imposter Syndrome and recognise The Curse of Knowledge which according to Wikipedia is

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, who is communicating with other individuals, assumes they have the background knowledge to understand.

In simple terms, The Curse of Knowledge is the occurrence when you become knowledgable on a topic or subject and when are asked about the topic by someone who doesn't have that knowledge they are unable to think back to when they were once the beginner and consequently knowledgable people in and of themselves are not very good at teaching which sounds a bit backwards but it's true. It turns out that people who are just above you and just about know understand and know something are better teachers because they can better empathise with a fellow beginner.

This is actually why a teacher can't just get a History degree and become a teacher they have to have a teaching component within their degree or do another degree to help them to learn how to teach which is something that I think should be the same for college lecturers as they are known for not being very good at implanting information.

A good way to combat this is to always keep the phrase Obvious to You, Amazing to Others in the back of your mind while you are teaching something and potentially brushing over certain parts because their "too obvious".

Have a great week!


❤️ My Favourite Things This Week

  1. Free classes - This week I got more than 3 free classes which have resulted in less homework to allow me more time to relax especially since I've had 3 CBAs ongoing.
  2. Article - This week I read Seth Godin's article on Catastrophization which gave me an interesting perspective on "tragedy".

✍️ Quote of The Week

Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it? If you're all alone on the planet, a hierarchical orientation makes no sense. There's no one to impress. So, if you'd still pursue that activity, congratulations. You're doing it territorially.