Better-informed have trouble or are unable to pass knowledge to less-informed. This bias has large and overlooked consequences.
Hindsight bias and expert trap
The phrase “expert trap” was first used in 1989 by Camerer and Loewenstein. They saw it closely relating to
It is as if our brains are wishfully reconstructing the knowledge to fit the outcome. Therefore if a person is better-informed about the line of reasoning they may be less inquisitive about looking at the knowledge from first principles, as if are gleaning over the ingredients of the process and bending them to fit the outcome.
“Study participants could not accurately reconstruct their previous, less knowledgeable states of mind, which directly relates to the curse of knowledge. This poor reconstruction was theorized by Fischhoff to be because the participant was "anchored in the hindsightful state of mind created by receipt of knowledge". Fischhoff, Baruch (2003). "Hindsight is not equal to foresight: The effect of outcome knowledge on judgment under uncertainty".
Tapping experiment metaphor
When subjects were asked to finger-tap a popular tune of their choosing they were hugely overconfident how many people would get it. They estimated that 50% of people would get it whereas in reality 1.33% got it.
I have concerns if this is solid evidence for this bias because this discrepancy may be attributed to some specific characteristic of this task. So I treat this as a potent metaphor of the dynamism of what happens when better-informed is passing the knowledge to less-informed.
Experts are often worse at predicting reality Philip Tetlock
"Studies have found that deep expertise in a subject does not positively correlate with accuracy in judgment. As part of his research on forecasting, professor Phillip Tetlock conducted a study with 284 political experts, that generated over 80,000 informed (where the estimate matched the area of expertise of the individual) and uninformed predictions over the course of 20 years. Surprisingly, Tetlock discovered that specialists are less reliable than non-experts, even within their specific area of study. In fact, the study concludes that after a certain point, deepening one's knowledge about a specific topic is affected by the law of diminishing returns and can hinder the ability to accurately predict a certain outcome. The results of the study can be attributed to the fact that subject matter experts are more likely to suffer from confirmation bias and are more likely to feel the pressure associated with reputational damage, both of which can affect their ability to produce accurate predictions” from A Playbook of expressive products
Experts are often motivated by status rather than the truth
The more the expertise is driven by getting or guarding status, the harder it will be to not to fall into the expert trap.
It’s broad effect makes human knowledge hard to access. I think most of the education system is affected by it. Most student experience school as boring. I think there is a way to share knowledge that is exciting and revelatory by sharing knowledge told from the first principles, in the simplest possible form, demonstrating how it translates to real life seemingly unrelated examples. See the incredible example in which
What if the majority of knowledge we circulate in our civilization is blocked by definitions that are rigid, rely on memorization, explain processes in a partial, local way, tied to abstract formulas and disconnected from how they tangibly affect the world and neighboring disciplines. Instead of the motion to try to understand things in the simplest possible way most of the people engage in the opposite. They use complex vocabulary, write too long books.
More informed cannot fit into the shoes of less informed.
Uneasiness of not knowing
Knowing is a delusion that helps this people cope with uneasy feeling of not knowing, of living in the universe that
Sometime even I feel that branching out into new areas of knowledge might be a waste of time. I cannot go there. I already have so much to understand in areas I know some. For the expert who delve deeper, capitalized on some area of knowledge this feeling might be even stronger. There is a real trade off. Going deep vs going wide.
Very often state when experts are too deep, too specialized in particular knowledge so they are discounting all other knowledge that isn't at their level of expertise. Therefore its a lot harder for them to learn anything new.
Often they miss the aspect of interconnectedness of knowledge where the biggest breakthroughs occurs. And very often the key to biggest breakthroughs were about epiphanies that came from the interconnectedness of knowledge. See
The core of learning is having the beginners mind. Agreeing that learning is the motion of one thing leading to another. Agreeing that the more you know the bigger and more complex this world seems and this always will feel unfinished. One need to accept the world as not finished.
Experts are often close minded
In every age there was a large group of people being in this static, finite mindset that the world is already understood. It doesn't matter if we think about Rome empire, Middle Ages or today. I think similar is true with contemporary experts: professors, politicians, business leaders
Socrates realized that "The more I learn, the less I realize I know". In this respect the more knowledge you gain the more open-minded you should become. However the opposite seems true. Some political, spiritual, scientific experts acts as if they know everything.
A person I won't name described how much he didn't like mid-level depth approaches of historians like Dan Carlin. This guy, given his depth of knowledge, might have dislike Dan Carlin because he could have done something similar himself and didn't capitalize on knowledge he had. His position may come from the emotion of envy. I think after listening to him I stopped listening to Hardcore History and his takes on history are helpful to me.
Expert trap may partially explain why
I am learning surfing. It’s incredible how little people can explain how swell period works, how to read waves, identify excercises to progress to the next stage in the quickest way.