Apr 30, 2020

You're Also Ignorant When You’re Not the Expert

“One specific lesson I try to drive home as often as possible, both in the context of medical education and in general, is this: Think about some area in which you have a great deal of knowledge, at the expert to mastery level (or maybe a special interest in which your knowledge is above average).

“Now, think about how much the average person knows about your area of specialty. Not only do they know comparatively little, they likely have no idea how little they know and how much specialized knowledge even exists. Furthermore, most of what they think they know is likely wrong or misleading.

“Here comes the critical part: Now realize that you are as ignorant as the average person is in every other area of knowledge in which you are not expert.“

- Dr. Steven Novella, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

Related: Dunning-Kruger Effect
Related: Gell-Mann Amnesia