Saturday, November 14, 2015

Does Expertise Make Us Close-Minded?

The British Psychological Society reports on a new study by Ottati, Price, Wilson, and Sumaktoyo.  The article, "When self-perceptions of expertise increase closed-minded cognition: The earned dogmatism effect," was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.   The research consisted of a series of six experiments.  In the research, people were made to feel like they were either experts or novices in a particular knowledge domain.   The scholars found that those who felt as though they were experts tended to act in a more close-minded fashion in subsequent parts of the study.  Hmmm... perhaps all of us at universities should look in the mirror.  Does the level of perceived expertise in academia contribute to a close-mindedness that inhibits the type of learning, exploration, and open dialogue that should be occurring in our classrooms?  Similarly, in a business context, does expertise close managers and technical experts off to new possibilities and make them more vulnerable to disruptive innovation? 

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