Curse of Knowledge

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath is a fantastic book for anyone that wants to know how to get others to embrace their ideas...people like students, teachers, administrators, parents... board members....

The authors contend that the Curse of Knowledge is a major barrier to getting our ideas to stick. In fact they refer to the Curse of Knowledge as a villain, undermining all efforts to share ideas.


Great Question.... glad you asked!

"Novices perceive concrete details as concrete details. Experts perceive concrete details as symbols of patterns and insights that they have learned through years of experience. And, because they are capable of seeing at a higher level of insight, they naturally want to talk on a higher level. They want to talk about the chess strategies, not about the bishops moving diagonally." (Heath & Heath, 2007, p. 114)

The Curse of Knowledge creeps up on us. It doesn't mean we dumb down the information. Rather we need to identify our core message and share it in concrete ways. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Want to know more? Read the book. You won't be disappointed.


Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2007). Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and others die. New York: Random House.


Anonymous said…
I struggle to figure this out, though I think of it as a lack of generalization (my severe disabilities/behavior background)--I teach a set of skills that I think are generalizable across all types of situations/settings/students, but where I see similarities and possibilities, others focus on the differences. I try to think about how my teachers and professors taught me to generalize, but I haven't been successful in figuring it all out yet.

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