You May Suffer from It: The Curse of Knowledge

Mar 28, 2019

3 min read

curse of knowledge

Has your mother ever called you home urgently to fix some major issue with her laptop? Oh, no! What could she have done now?

She didn’t delete some important file. No, no. She just accidentally put Chrome on full screen and couldn’t get back to her Candy Crash game.

That’s just at home. How about at the office? Yeah, there are some newbies in your department and they are learning, but slower than expected. You get shot with hundreds of questions per minute and you just stand there thinking how is it even possible not to understand?

You are cursed with knowledge!

Thanos: Stark.
Tony Stark: You know me?
Thanos: I do. You’re not the only one cursed with knowledge.

What Is the Curse of Knowledge?

The philosophical definition defines the curse of knowledge as the following – the more knowledge a person possesses, the more burden knowledge becomes. It is true that sometimes the world can be a depressing place when you have more knowledge and can influence your social life to a point where you are isolated.

However, there is another definition which is more realistic and describes it better. It goes like this: “Curse of knowledge is defined as a cognitive bias that happens when an individual communicates with other individuals and presumes others have the same understanding on a particular subject as they do.”

I guess you find yourself more often than usual in these types of situations. However, many people fail to notice that they were one of the others lacking the knowledge in a particular field. Also, they forget to identify with people’s situation, how much they are overburdened with new information. They even forget that a more straightforward way to explain complicated subjects will make individuals understand them better.

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