Self-proclaimed experts, illusion of knowledge

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Self-proclaimed experts more vulnerable to the illusion of knowledge

Research reveals that the more people think they know about a topic in general, the more likely they are to allege knowledge of completely made-up information and false facts, a phenomenon known as "overclaiming."

"Our work suggests that the seemingly straightforward task of judging one's knowledge may not be so simple, particularly for individuals who believe they have a relatively high level of knowledge to begin with," says psychological scientist Stav Atir of Cornell University,

The research team warns that a tendency to overclaim, especially in self-perceived experts, may actually discourage individuals from educating themselves in precisely those areas in which they consider themselves knowledgeable - leading to potentially disastrous outcomes.

For example, failure to recognize or admit one's knowledge gaps in the realm of finance or medicine could easily lead to uninformed decisions with devastating consequences for individuals.

"Continuing to explore when and why individuals overclaim may prove important in battling that great menace - not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge," the research team concludes.

Psychological Science




















Self-proclaimed experts, illusion of knowledge

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