Illusions of competence

Have you ever had the feeling that you understand a concept, but are unable to explain it to somebody else?

Our brains often fool us into thinking that we understand things better than we actually do. Psychologists call this the ‘illusion of competence’. An effective means to break this illusion is to try and teach what we think we know to somebody else. When our explanation doesn’t make sense, it is merely a sign that we haven’t understood the concept well enough.

If you’re unable to find a willing listener for every concept you’ve learnt, writing a blogpost is a good fallback. And yes, I have had to scrap several blogpost drafts owing to my having fallen prey to illusions of competence.

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