What is it about?

Exposure to information that is related but irrelevant to the problem at hand makes us think we know more about the problem, and this increased sense of knowledge may further make us think others also know more about the problem.

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Why is it important?

When we consult the Internet to solve a problem we are likely to be bombarded by huge amounts of information that may or may not be directly relevant. It is therefore important to understand the biasing effect of irrelevant information on our judgements and to be aware of the need to filter it out and to focus only on information that is directly relevant to the problem at hand.


Sometimes we are over-confident about our own and others' knowledge not only because we ourselves do possess the knowledge, i.e., "the curse of knowledge", but also because we think we possess the knowledge.

Him Cheung
The Education University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Irrelevant information enhances a sense of knowledge and curses our understanding of other minds., Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition, September 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0001287.
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